The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


LeslieC's picture

June 18-20 at Omega Institute in NY, I will teach a gluten-free cooking and baking weekend workshop; My new cookbook, Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook, A Seasonal Vegetarian Cookbook by Leslie Cerier due July 1st, 2010 is full of delicious and easy to follow recipes for gluten-free whole grains and flours.

Gluten-free cooking and baking is fun and easy and delicious. For more information; please join me at


I look forward to hearing from you.


Join organic gourmet chef, teacher, and author, Leslie Cerier, for an informative and fun approach to preparing a full spectrum of gluten-free foods.

This hands-on, gluten-free cooking and baking workshop is perfect for people with gluten sensitivities; people who cook for those with gluten sensitivities; and nutritionists, dieticians, and other health professionals. Beginner and experienced cooks are invited. You learn:


  • Menu planning for ease of preparation and great taste

  • Ways to substitute ingredients according to seasons, schedules, moods, and what’s in your kitchen

  • Cooking and baking with various sweeteners, oils, and seasonings

  • The magic of global flavors, using local produce, herbs, and spices

  • Delectable protein-based side dishes highlighting beans, soy foods, pasture-fed dairy, nuts, and seeds


Learn to cook like an artist as you master dishes ranging from appetizers to desserts and breakfasts to one-pot dinners, including pancakes, porridges, soups, salads, pasta dishes, pilafs, bread, sushi, and pastries.

Recommended reading: Cerier, Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook and Going Wild in the Kitchen

To register: or


bnom's picture

I got a new stone last week and have made two batches of a sourdough formula I've developed.  First the stone is a 15 x 20 Fibrament-D and I love that I can bake three longish loaves.  However, my first bake was disappointing...I got pretty flat loaves. I suspected the error was mine and not the stones.

So I changed two things. I let the first proof happen at room temp--68 degrees--until doubled in bulk (about 6 hours), and then cold retarded for 8 hours (muy prior loaf was proofed at 80 degrees). I also tried to develop better surface tension when shaping (one loaf I shaped/scored better than the other and it's pretty obvious in the pic which one that is).  I'm really happy I went back to a cooler proof.


Here's the formula:

The formula:

300 g firm starter

620 g water

750 g unbleached AP flour (530 g Morbread 12% protein, and 200 g Whole Food AP)

50 g coarse ground wheat berries

50 g coarse ground rye berries

23 g salt



althetrainer's picture

Little man has been asking to make bread sculptures so I am going to just keep the pictures here.  We've made a crab bread two day ago and his monster bread yesterday.  Today, I made an alligator bread, stuffed with ham and cheese.  This one is a bit different than the other two because this is a unbleached sourdough alligator.  Took about 6 hours to rise before baking.  Very fun to make.



Sedlmaierin's picture

This bread seemed really easy to make and it has an excellent flavor! After quizzing my family and friends they all voted for the version with onions, so that's what I made. Not having made or eaten potato bread before,I had no idea what to expect and the only thing that surprised me was how relatively soft the crust turned out to be-it was nice and crunchy when coming out of the oven, but softened upon cooling.I assume that is because it is relatively moist,with the potatoes,onions and oil. I really enjoy the effect that the olive oil has on the flavor-it makes it fruity,rich and creamy!

I left the skin on my one, huge potato and just chopped it fine-that means there are very small pieces of potato still visible in the bread and the skins gives it a nice marbled effect.

The one thing that did not work out that well-or let's say it only worked well on one loaf-was the fendu shaping.And it was entirely my fault-on the succesfully fendu shaped loaf I really used a lot of flour,which I then had to knock off before folding and final proofing.Which made me think,oh I won't use as much flour on the next one, just a little bit..lo and behold, it just didn't turn out that well-it didn't open up as nicely and the rolling pin stuck just a tad when I tried to get it out.Live and learn.

Here are pictures:

So far this challenge has been a lot of fun-I would have never made the potato bread otherwise! It is a lovely bread that I will definitely make again.


ilan's picture

My path of research in bread making led me another step. This week I made yet another sandwich-bread and added different stuff into it.

I saw that in the several recipes most of the liquid in such bread consist of milk. It should make the bread richer in flavor as milk in oppose to water have a taste and in addition it contain some percent of fat.

All is good and well in theory. I already baked bread with water and bread with milk.

This time, I made two batches of the same recipe but in the second I replaced 2/3 of the liquid with milk.

Both bread looked almost the same. If there was any visual difference I failed to see it.

The crust on the milk bread was softer while the one with water was crunchier. There is a meaningful difference… I like both.

Another thing I wanted was thinner crust. So instead of baking at high temp with steam for 15 minutes (as I done in my previous bread) I reduce the time to 10 minute. The crust was good but thinner.

 To enrich the bread I added Pecans and Pumpkin seeds to the dough and sprinkled the top of the bread with Sunflower & Pumpkin seeds.

I didn’t use any preferment here, It was aimed to be a quick bread making. So, I used 3 teaspoons of yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar. This reduced raise time to 1 hour + 1 hour. I must try this same bread with the longer method to check the flavor difference. But this will be my project for next week J

I didn’t punch down the dough after the first rise. I just roll it out of the bowl and formed it. It looses enough air in any case.

Additional thing I tried with both loaves was to score them right after I formed them into loaves. This is because when I try to score the bread right before baking, it loose height. I should look for a razor blade as my knives (sharp as they are – 8” knife is too big) are not good enough for this job.

The Dough:

-       3 1/4 cups flour

-       3 teaspoons yeast

-       1 teaspoon sugar

-       1 ½ cup of water (replace 1 cup of water with milk)

-       1 ¾ teaspoon of salt

-       ½ cup of chopped Pecans

-       ¼ cup of Pumpkin seeds

-       ½ egg

-       ½ egg for glazing

-       Sunflower seeds for topping

Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, egg and water (or milk) into a unified mixture and let rest for 20 minutes.

Add the salt Pecans and Pumpkin seeds knead for 10 minutes. Let rise for 60 minutes.

Form into a loaf and let rise for another hour.

Bake in high temperature with steam for 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat (180-170c) and bake for another 40 minutes.

Until the next post




wally's picture

This weekend I decided to have a second go at croissants and pains au chocolat.  I used a recipe that Julia Child had featured with a guest on her show, and which DonD helpfully included in his blog here (it appears as a two-part video).  The written recipe sans video can be found here.

I also benefited from a nice explanation and accompanying video of the lamination process that ananda posted here .

I found that the process of laminating the dough seemed to go smoother this time - less hesitation which causes the dough and butter to warm.  I used what I have come to understand from ananda as the British method (vs. the French method) to initially incorporate butter into the dough (which had retarded for 24 hours), by rolling out the buttter to a rectangle 2/3'ds the length of the rectangle of dough. You then execute a letter fold by thirds, beginning with folding the dough not covered with butter over the butter.  Aside from it being an easier method, I like the fact that the it yields a dough that now has two layers of butter prior to your intial folds/turns.

I followed this with three folds with 2 hour intervals between each where the dough was wrapped tightly in plastic and placed in the refrigerator.  While some prefer to do a series of 4 letter folds, I followed Child's recipe which uses a letter fold for the first two folds, and then executes what's called a wallet or a book fold for the third and final 'turn.'

After completing the three folds, the dough was refrigerated overnight.  Next morning I cut it into 2 pieces, returned one to the refrigerator (it would become pains au chocolat), and began rolling out the other piece to create croissants.  Julia's recipe will produce about 14 croissants that are 4 1/2" wide and 7" in height.

Forming the croissants, as I'm discovering, is much like learning to shape baguettes: it takes a lot of repetition to get it right.  Crucial to achieving many layers is a stretching of the croissant triangle after it's cut.  The base is stretched out by about 1",  and the height is stretched considerably.  I've read that a well-formed croissant should have at least 6 visible layers.  I managed to achieve this on about 1/3 of the croissants I rolled - the others came out at 5 layers. 

After the croissants were shaped I eggwashed and proofed them for three hours, and began shaping the pains au chocolat.  I used two chocolat batons (I use the less expensive Callebaut, rather than the Valrhona DonD prefers - I figure I'm on training wheels here, so I'll work up to the really good chocolate) per pain, and also allowed them to proof for 3 hours after an eggwash.  At the end of the proof I proceeded to freeze both batches (see below).

the frozen stash

Today I pulled out a couple of each, preheated my oven to 350° F, and applied a second coat of eggwash.  Total bake time was 20 minutes.

Both looked nice immediately after the bake - good color and nice puffiness.

After letting them cool I cut them, and uh....well...the pictures speak for themselves. 

Obviously I have a BIG problem with the layers not rising.  Not sure what the potential causes were, so I'm looking for any and all feedback (jump in Don and Andy!).  I did pay particular attention during the lamination process to not letting the dough get warm, and placing it back in the refrigerator as needed to allow it to relax before rolling out further.  So I don't think that's the issue.  Could this be a yeast problem?

In any event, I have approximately 325 Callebaut chocolate batons stored in a cool place, so plenty of practice ammunition!  In the meantime, I need some pointers!


dstroy's picture

I made a sweet treat yesterday for an afternoon snack.


Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes about 12 cupcakes
1.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I think I'd maybe like to try this with about slightly-more-than-half cake flour and the other half regular flour next time)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
just over 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into little cubes
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix until combined.
3. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
4. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla.
5. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients to dry ingredients gradually; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
6. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about two-thirds full.
7. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Buttercream

Makes enough for 12-15 cupcakes

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
about 3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
color if desired

1. Cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Mix on low speed adding the sugar, milk, and vanilla;
mix until light and fluffy.
If necessary, gradually add more sugar to reach desired consistency.

The colored sprinkles are REQUIRED, I am told, at least according to the kids. So don't forget those too. ;)

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hi All,

I'm sure you've seen that past few stinkers that I have baked...  Here is something slightly more successful.  A simple 60% hydration sourdough bread using a stiff sourdough starter.  Not as open of a crumb as I had hoped for, but it has a nice crumb, chew, texture, and a pleasant sour tang.  Enjoy!


Here goes:


500g AP

200g Firm SD Starter @ 60% Hydr

300g Water

10g Kosher Salt

1010g Total Dough Yield



1:15pm - Mix all in large mixing bowl, cover, autolyse 30 minutes.

1:45pm - Knead 1 minute in bowl using wet hands, and no extra flour, rest 30 minutes.

2:15pm - Knead in bowl 1 minute, rest...

2:51pm - Knead in bowl 1 minute, rest...

8:45pm - Shape into boule using letterfold method as if you were turning the dough, place into floured linen lined banneton, place into large plastic bag, proof.

10:10pm - Place banneton into refrigerator, arrange baking stone, steam pan in oven, preheat 450F, go out to dinner.

11:15:pm - Remove banneton from fridge, turn onto lightly floured peel, place into oven directly on stone, add 1 cup water to steam pan, bake for 15 minutes at 450F with steam, rotate, bake for another 30 minutes, then leave in off oven for 5 more minutes.  Loaf should be done when internal temp reaches 210F.  Cool completely (overnight) before cutting.


Pop N Fresh's picture
Pop N Fresh

Does anyone have recipes for Chappati Flour.  I have a bag that I need to use.



turosdolci's picture

Making homemade pasta is easy with a few kitchen tools. The flavor surpasses anything you can buy.

Step by step instructions and recipe for garganelle along with pictures for other pasta that require rolling out the dough in sheets.




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