The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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ejm's picture

Happy New Year!!

festive bread

In past years, I've made sweet saffron buns for Christmas. But after tasting the recently made semi-wild challah, we both agreed that while the saffron adds a lovely colour and flavour, it doesn't add quite enough flavour to merit the expense of using the saffron. We decided to forego the saffron and make plain sweet bread (we used the saffron in our shrimp for New Year's Eve dinner instead).

Saffron-less bread is delicious!! (Saffron shrimp is equally delicious!)

And I must say that I'm awfully pleased with myself for managing to do the six strand braid correctly - after reading, rereading, testing with string, reading, rereading the braiding section in Blessing of Bread by Maggie Glezer.

I had planned on putting together a little photo essay of the six strand braiding but right now, I think I neeeeeed to head down to begin New Year's Day celebrations. Hmmm, shall we start with Festive bread?


braiding festive bread

If you can't wait, please look here:

chahira daoud's picture
chahira daoud

Hello dear fresh loafers, I really did miss you all!!

I wanted to wish you all a very happy new year!!

I was totally busy,but always in my kitchen , I am always have a recipe for Mr. Peter Reinhart to test , I had also my first "daring bakers" challenge, It was horrible challenge, you can check my blog to read and watch some pics of my final product!!

I want you also to congratulate me, my second attempt for wild yeast started to look sucssesful one , but I have to start using it and bake!!

Yesterday , I made a chicken and vegetables pie, and I want to share the pics with you , it was really delicious!!

Here it is a slice for the first reply on my post!!



I also made some japanese melon buns, here you are some pics..

But still do not know why it is called " melon buns"???

Anyway it was not really very distinguished, nothing special in it....

I made at the same day some baguettes...

I am also planning to start my first sourdough baguettes...

Wish me good luck!!

Happy new year for all and wish to you all the best !!!



SylviaH's picture

I made 4 Sourdough Boules today and totally messed up the recipe '

'big time' making the first two large ones in the back of the photos...the ones with the nice cracks.  They sang loud and clear!  I rescued them by just going pretty much on the feel of the dough and cheated with a little added yeast... My husband said that they were his favorite kind of bread to eat!!  Go figure!!  Well they did have a very crunchy crackly crust and a very tender light crumb...the flavor was very mild sourdough flavor with the nice flavor plus from the new 12 grain flour KA mixture I been using for a little extra fiber and flavor.  They went nice with the chili con carne made with small red beans I soaked the nite before...I got a new camera for Christmas and wanted to try out these photos...hey I did pretty good...but I think I still better read the instructions!!  Just not enough hours in the day!


SylviaH's picture

 I used K.A. Organic 12 - Grain Flour Blend...Wheat, Amaranth, Quinoa, Sorghum, Brown Rice, Spelt, Barley, Millet, Oats, Rye, Buckweat, Corn.  to replace some..about a cup of the bread flour in P.R. Italian Bread recipe with a Biga...  I thought it's time to start sweeping out some of the Holiday feasting and this would be a beginning!  The bread tastes has a sweet toasty flavor.


PMcCool's picture

Time to catch up a bit from the Christmas whirl.  Last weekend, I baked Leader's pain au levain again, from his Local Breads.  I keep coming back to this bread, because of it's lovely flavor.  It is only mildly sour and the rye and whole wheat components add to the depth of flavor.  Since temperatures in my kitchen were hovering in the 63-65F range, it also benefitted from a long, slow fermentation.  Here is a picture of the finished loaves:

Leader's pain au levain

The slashing suffered from a lack of mental mise en place.  I'l have to pay better attention to that in future.

Here's a shot of the crumb:

Crumb of pain au levain

The crumb is great for sandwiches and for holding spreads, but a bit fine-grained for this style of bread.  I'm still working to get all of the factors done right in a single loaf.  This one has great flavor.  I thought it had ample hydration, but it could probably have been pushed a bit higher.  And my handling during shaping was a bit ham-fisted.  One of these days . . .

The second bread on the agenda last weekend was Reinhart's New York Deli Rye, from BBA.  No complaints about the bread itself; it is a moist, flavorful (I substituted dill seed for caraway seed), sturdy bread and makes wonderful sandwiches.  The only quibble, which is purely cosmetic, is the blotchiness on the crust caused by the oiled plastic wrap that I draped over the pans to keep the dough from drying during it's final proof, as seen here:

Reinhart's NY deli rye

And, since I was on a sourdough kick and had company coming, I also made the sourdough English muffins from the KAF 200th Anniversary Cookbook.  I never got around to snapping a picture of those.  They turned out very well.  I think I finally got the right combination of hydrations, time to rise, and griddle temperature.  They ballooned up to more than an inch in thickness, without trying to turn into spheres.  There are plenty of nooks and crannies for trapping melting butter or juicy jams.  They are so moist that they require a second pass through the toaster to brown up enough.

Sometimes it is hard to decide which is better: the enjoyment of making bread, or the enjoyment of eating it.

SylviaH's picture

I used my Buttermilk Bundt Cake recipe and added fresh/frozen cranberries and topped with cinnamon, brown sugar streusel with a sprinkel of swedish pearl sugar.   RECIPE CORRECTION:  Should read 1 1/3 Cups of Buttermilk in the Batter!

Happy Holidays, Sylvia 

crunchy's picture

I bought Hamelman's book "Bread" last week on the recommendation of David, Floyd, Howard, and many other TFL members. Of course, it did not disappoint. I wish there were more photos, but as it is the book is full of great tips, recipes, and more. My first attempted recipes were flaxseed bread (pg. 211), since I love both rye and flaxseed,

and Pointe-a-Calliere miche (pg. 165).

The flaxseed dough, which is 60% rye and 40% bread flour, was tougher to work with than the rye breads I've been making from Local Breads. I usually don't add any commercial yeast to my sourdoughs, but decided to follow Hamelman's recipe exactly the first time. I'm glad I did:

And the miche, which is true sourdough, turned out well too. To approximate high extraction whole wheat I used 90% KA 100% whole wheat flour and 10% bread flour. The loaf rose well and had good oven spring (I put water in a roasting pan for steam and sprayed the loaf a couple of times during the first 5 minutes of baking).

Can't wait to try out some more recipes!

nbicomputers's picture

all of my baking is done with the exception of some rolls for tomorow's breakfast which i will do starting at 4 am along with some fresh danish and puff pastry

this is a picture post and once again if you are in my neck of the woods come on in and sit a spell

the whole 6 foot table





Floydm's picture

Sunday I made a holiday bread that was pretty much like a stollen.

I didn't have marzipan and I baked it in a loaf pan, but otherwise it was basically the BBA stollen recipe.  It was excellent.  I think I'm going to bake a double batch today and give some to the neighbors.

You may have heard, Oregon got walloped with a doozy of a snow storm.  Keep in mind that we rarely get more than an inch or two of snow here.  Yet here is picture of me yesterday climbing back up the hill after sledding down it with the kids.

And it is still snowing today.  Sounds like it won't warm up enough to start melting until tomorrow.


ivette21's picture

On a boring Sunday afternoon I was at home trying to find something to do when I decided to make this pizza.

It hadbeen many years since I had made one... the last time being when I was in H.S. in a Home Economics

class so I really didn't remember much about how to start. I looked fora recipe online and figured out that I

needed simple ingredientsto make the crust so I gathered up my stuff and started. I useda stand mixer to

prepare the pizza dough and then took it out when it formed a sticky ball and kept on kneading with my hands. 

I left the ball to rest for about to 2 hours and then started to form the pizza. I admit I had a bit of trouble

because it would shrink back and I don't know if it maybe was too dry.. which it didn't seem to be or that's just

the way its supposed to be. If anyone can give me any tipson how I could make it better I'll gladly use them

next timeI bake one. I have to admit that the flavor was pretty good. I was surprised that it didn't have

an aweful taste to it haha. Well,here is my creation.. and if you have any ideas or advice for me please let me know. 





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