The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


yozzause's picture

I made the dough for the evening restaurant class on thursday as there were quite a few absentees from the class the lecturer said you dont want to make the bread for me do you? The deal was that i had a free hand,and could make whatever I pleased! SO I had several bottles of coopers dark ale set aside that were up to their code date so at 2.30 pm I refreshed my sour dough starter and added what i would have discarded to 1.5litres of dark ale  and 1 kg of Bakers flour and made a nice slurry. I went back to my office and worked out the rest of the formula completed a couple more purchase orders shut down the computer and went back to the bakery.

I ended up with 1 young student who was also going to be making the fresh fruit salad component of the desert trio to be served.

I quickly got him to weigh up the other ingrediants  after finding we had 40 patrons for the restaurant. The other ingrediants were

(1kg flour                                                                    1,000 grams)

(Coopers dark ale 4 x 375ml stubbies                     1500 grams)

(sour dough culture                                                              100 grams)

3kg flour                                                            3,000 grams

salt                                                                        80 grams

Dry yeast                                                                80 grams

butter                                                                    120 grams

water                                                                   1300 grams

Dobrim bread impover                                               5 grams

My helper had not made bread before so  i gave him  a run down on what the different ingrediants do in the dough and explained how to work the percentages  so that this dough could be made larger or smaller and that 1% in this dough represented 40 grams.

We also worked out how to make a dough to the size required  for a certain number of rolls, the dinner rolls are scaled @ 50 grams each, we have a hand press that cuts out 14 pieces  so made him work out the size of the dough pieces required (700 grams) and suggested that we make  70 rolls as the patrons don,t usually say no to the additional roll when offered. i then told him we would make a 4 loaves @ 500grams and then some sticks at 250 grams, this was all before the dough was mixed.

A tip i passed on to him and one that is well worth remebering is that if you measure up more than the amount of water you want it is ready to go at the right temp as you need it and that it is easier to calculate want went in by what you have left.

Anyway back to the dough after it was mixed i put it into a 25litre plastic bucket, showed how to mark how far the dough came in the container  and where it might come when doubled. i then said i was going home  to feed my aviary birds, and that i would be back in an hour ( i live quite close by) so left him to get on with his fresh fruit salad.

When i got back the dough had exceeded our expectations as far as the marks on the bucket were concerned  it had actually pushed the lid off and had a distinct muffin top look. So the knocking back was demonstrated as well as taking in the aroma of the gas that was released.

Scaling was quickly completed and dough pieces rounded up and allowed to recover for 10 minutes, the rolls were quickly finished  and the bread pieces were shaped  these were all deposited in a steam prover.

The requirement of the restaurant is that they have to have a fast dough as students only have 4 hours to make and bake fresh product for both lunch and again for dinner. hence the fast 1 hour bulk fermentation time achived with the 2% addition of dry yeast.

The rolls were then pulled from the prover and paint brushed with a boiled cornflour wash and seeded and rice flour dusted and cut in a number of different ways to show the different effects achieved with the knife.

The rolls were then baked and after inspection of the results fom the cuts racked to cool before being handed to the front of house staff ready for service. The bread loaves and sticks were placed in the oven next while I was given a serve of the fish that was on the menu, magnificent red snapper.

Once the bread came out my work was done, i made sure that the staff behind the bar that provide the ale and the flat white coffes had a loaf to take home, the instructor for the front of house staff and of course the chef instructor as well as for the procurement team i work with all had a loaf.

Next morning the verdict came in  the young trainee chef had been out and faced the diners who loved it with many asking him  why it was so nice and the best bread rolls thay had tasted.

I must say that the loaf i took home remained really fresh and tasty for a couple of days. UNFOTUNATELY the camera is left at work for the weekend but i will add pictures to this blog on Monday

Regards Yozza  

Sorry about the cut shot i only had a smallish serrated knife, its amazing the difference a good knife makes in cutting bread

jacobsbrook's picture

So here we are in New Hampshire.  Spring is arriving early it seems, which means we will soon have to hang up our baking hat for the business season.  Lately we have been experimenting with a daily loaf.  Looking for the right combination that everyone in the house will enjoy.  That is very hard if impossible, since one family member likes "wonderbread" style wheat and on the other end of the spectrum another enjoys a hearth style toothsome bread.  Others in the household, in between.  Even the english springer spaniel has a favorite in a crunchy sourdough baguette.  Is there any meeting halfway?  Probably not, but we are working on it.  You never know. :)

Below is our daily sourdough with a little bit of wheat and spelt.  The basic formula starts with Pat's (proth5) baguette formula with our slight tweaks.   I know, I know blasphemy!  The formula makes wonderful baguettes, which we have totally enjoyed (Thanks to you Pat!), but we needed a sandwich bread.  The pictures are of the resulting loaf.  We are happy with it and will keep on tweaking.  Might actually find that half way point that all in the household will enjoy .

Happy Baking all!


jennyloh's picture

I had an interesting bake today. Using the 5 minutes a day fresh baked bread recipe, I decided to try my hand on baguette again. 


The result was quite satisfying. Large holes,  crunchy crust,  and when I press down,  it bounces back.  The taste is quite interesting,  even though I didn't put much salt,  it is quite salty on the crust.
check out the details of the recipe and method here.

Shiao-Ping's picture

It was Dan DiMuzio who first brought to my attention that people who came from a pastry background are more sensitive to ideas about design and fashion when they become bread bakers.  I regularly visit a Brisbane specialty chef and bakers store to see what's new.  I was there last week looking for a gigantic stainless steel bowl for long batard or gigantic miche baking one day.  Just about I was leaving, I glanced over the New Arrival books section.  I was almost sure I had already had all the books in the world that I ever wanted to purchase, but no harm browsing.  Bourke Street Bakery?  Hmmm, what's that?  Um, the sourdough on the cover page looks gooooood, deep score with very rustic exterior. 


                                                Bourke Street Bakery by Paul Allam & David McGuinness 

What? A bakery in Surry Hills, Sydney!  That's near where we used to live (well, across the Sydney Harbour Bridge).   I read, on page 10, "Baking is part science, part stoneground milling and part river-running romance.  But it's not the romance that will keep your baking consistently good, it's the science....  If you take our electric deck oven and mixer from the production process, you are not far away from how bakeries would have operated in the 16th century."  Just those few words would get in into their bakery! 

Courtesy of Paul Allam, following are a couple of photos from the book: 


                                                Page 110                                                                                     Page 104 

This is the exact book that I've been waiting for from a bakery - full of bread pictures and unpretentious, rustic, and mouth-watering pastries for a home cook.  Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt's Tartine Bakery cookbook is very good but it is only cakes and pastries.  I have been waiting for their bread book.  Now I won't have to.  

For this post, I have made the humble beef pie, page 194.  As Paul and David said in the book, "If you ask most people, 'What is Australian cuisine?' they will often answer, 'The meat pie.'  ... A bad pie is just un-Australian."  They gave their pie to Paul's father, the chief "pie eater," to try; his father claimed that it had "too much flavour!" (page 197).  Well, just how I like it.  The following are my pies based on their recipe with minor variations: 





I told my husband about these pies; he asked for one to be reserved for him.  I quickly shuffled two into the freezer before my children gobble them up.  Yozza, if there were same-day freezer courier service for home cooks (as in Taiwan), I would have loved to send one (no, I would send two) for you to try.   For these pies, I used the best available puff pastry: Carême all butter puff pastry, handmade, from Barossa, South Australia.   I had not wanted to make my own puff pastry.




Also in this post, I have included pictures of a bread that I made last week to try to finish up some old flour that I had.  This levain bread is 1/3 golden semolina flour, 1/3 WW, and 1/3 bread flour (72% overall hydration):  






I find semolina gives a tough texture to the bread, not to my liking.  I should have added olive oil (3% will do) to soften the crumb.  Honey would also have benefited the crumb as semolina has sort of a bland taste. 

As I was slicing the bread, Polly was waiting ever so patiently for her share: 




It has been very wet for the last few days where we are.  Our dam is finally back up to 80% capacity, last seen eight years ago.  Some remote towns are flooded and the radio reporter couldn't even pronounce their names.  Our lawn is now moss green.  The bamboos outside my tea room are alive to have been bathed in rain.  I felt like in Japan over the last few days where some parts of the country rain for two-thirds of the year.  Outside my windows I saw squirrels coming out to stretch and leap.  And, a baby goanna came to visit my lawn!  He was not scared of me.  As I moved closer to take the shot, he stood still, turned his head and smiled.  What a fine showing.  Is he a dinkum Aussie animal




How often do you hear people say that the best view from their house is from the worst spot of the house?  Maybe not in Australia, but certainly in Taiwan where apartment buildings are so congested.  I never forget one day, one of the high school teachers, with whom I still keep in contact, led me to the side of her meditation room to sneak a view of the mountain against which her apartment is situated.  The containment and satisfaction on her face!  Well, it was a clear night some months ago, one of those drought weather nights, which seems so far away now that the rain has come back to us in Queensland, Australia.  I was getting ready for bed; for some reason I stuck my head out of my bathroom window, facing south-west.  And, WO!, there were a cluster of stars as bright as glistering tinsels from my childhood Christmas card, which I had never seen before.  What was going on in the night sky?

I ran out to my front balcony.  As I saw more and more stars, I went closer and closer down the steps to my front lawn, and in the end, standing in the wide open, with my jaws dropped, looking at the ... Milky Way.  

I had never looked at that side of the night sky before.  I had always looked at the other side for... the Southern Cross.  That night the Southern Cross wasn't there. 

When I came back up my balcony again, what I saw 10 - 15 minutes ago had largely disappeared - how fast had the Earth spun just in that time.  But that night I went to sleep with Milky Way in me.



breadinquito's picture

Hi folks, it's a long time since I wrote my last post....from i got the link of a shocking video! in youtube you just have to digit: michael voltaggio makes bread in the microwave..At first I was speechless, now I feel very sad and even a bit insulted : you can be an amateur or a pro, but if you bake it's because you have passion, soul and love for this ! Newbies home bakers might think making a good loaf is easier than in the true life! If Saint Honore, the baker's saint could say something, what do you think he'd say?

I wait for your reaction and wish happy baking to everyone! Cheers from Quito.Paolo

txfarmer's picture

The recipe is from right here on this site: , thanks, Floyd! I kept the dough a tad too wet at first, but easily corrected by adding a bit of flour.



This is not bread, it's cake!


Pablo's picture

A friend asked me about my bread baking technique and so I made a Youtube video.  It's pretty homey and casual.  Maybe someone will get something out of it.

Errors: "baguette" should be "batard", baking time 525 10 minutes, 470 20 minutes.


ehanner's picture

Last week nicodvb posted his most recent trial of 100% Rye flour bread. He declared it as good so I thought I would try it out and see if I could follow his steps.

I did stray off the green line just a wee bit when I used boiling coffee to scald the rye the night before. I also added some rye meal and some boiled rye berries that had been rinsed and strained after a 30 minute softening on the stove. And I just couldn't help myself from adding 2 T of German bread spice. So my version is a little darker than nico's due to the coffee.

There was so much going around the house today that I missed the step where he covers the dough for the first 20 minutes. I gave it an extra steam injection to help move the bar in the right direction. It smelled wonderful during baking. Rye has a deep full healthy smelling aroma when baking. I checked the internal temp once at 45 minutes and found 160F so I gave it an additional 15 minutes at 350F.

My loaf doesn't look as pretty as nicodvb's but let me tell you, it is tasty. A very sweet and full flavor. I think once the moisture settles down it will be perfect but slightly dense. Thanks nico for posting your results.


Proofed and ready to bake.

Just out of the oven. It isn't as dark on the top as this.

The crumb is a little dense, but delicious never the less.

trailrunner's picture

I am biking from St. Augustine FL to SanDiego CA. I am using this as an opportunity to raise awareness of hunger in this country . My local Food Bank, Food Bank of East Alabama, is helping me by placing barrels in local spots in my town of Auburn/Opelika AL. I am trying to raise 3100# of food as well as $ 3100 since the trip is 3100 miles. We will take about 60 days to do this so it is also a personal celebration of my 60th year on this earth. I am in Day 7 today and we are in Marianna FL. at the library. I will check in periodically. Here is my log so far . If you want to follow my progress you can get on Face Book for the Food Bank of East ALbama and see the updates. It would be wonderful if any of you would like to make donations to your local food banks in honor of my "Pedaling for Food". Caroline Donnelly


here are the updates to today. We decided that since it is so cold and windy STILL we would take a short day and a break. Only 22 miles today. Here is the log. 

Day1 Feb 26th-44 miles/avg 11 mph with loaded trailer from St Augustine to Palatka FL. windy and cold. camping in the cold.

Day 2 Feb 27th -61.34 miles/avg 10.7
wind and cold for the first part till the last 14 miles and then the sun came out and we hit the lovely bike path into Gainesville. What a treat. The overlook of Lake Alachua was beautiful. Stayed at the Zen Center Hostel.

Day 3
Feb 28th we in rode from Gainsville to a campground Ichutucknee Springs.. instead of Live Oak.
Was 45 miles/avg. 10.2. mph w/ trailer loaded. Head wind was 20 again to today with gusts.

Day4 March 1st----Great ride 57.69 miles/11.8 mph avg.we are staying Perry Fl/Days Inn.

Day 5---First 1/2 of day was wanderful heading out of Perry then HILLS/RAIN/ WIND WIND...50 miles/avg was a very hard day into Tallahassee. Days Inn again as it is supposed to get very cold again at night. What happened to warm flat Florida !!????? Had Sonny's BBQ and it sure tasted good.

Day 6 --started so hard as we took ONE HOUR to cross Tallahassee...there is a wide shoulder for part of but not all of it. T..hassee drivers DO NOT like cyclists. I "took a lane" and Pete and I simply made them stay over and out. It worked great as they can't crowd you to the curb. It is an essential riding technique I learned in NYC...thank goodness. WIND WIND all day and hills and more hills...50 miles and only 8.8 avg. It was so bad for one of our riders she gave up and went back to the hotel and called her husband to come from KY to get her...sad sad day. We didn't find this out till we were at the end in Sneads FL. . I had been carrying her tent and drop cloth ( 9#) she had the poles and so I abandoned the tent in the post office w/ the drop cloth ( postmaster said someone will want it) and I emptied and sorted and mailed 7.5 # of stuff home ! I am so LIGHT now. Yeah! Motel Seminole Inn in Snead FL.

Day 7---- decided to have a short day today . It is COLD and WINDY and HILLS....huh...have I said this before !!??? Ah well 22miles to Marriana FL avg 10 mph. We are at the library catching up on emails etc. Will probably Days Inn again. It is supposed to be gorgeous this weekend and into next week. We are all still bummed by Diane's leaving the group. We are adding a gal in Pensacola. So rest and regroup today. Pretty little town. c

bakinbuff's picture

My husband and and small boys quite like whitish sandwich bread, and although they like my sourdough boules and batards for dipping in soup, it is difficult to convince them to eat sourdough in any other form.  I have read in a few places that the long fermentation times plus the lactobacilli in sourdough improve the digestibility and lower the GI rating of bread (in comparison to bread prepared commercially with the shortest possible rises, etc).  Seeing as the family like toast and sandwiches from time to time, and I always make a instant yeasted loaf for that, I thought it couldn't hurt to try a sourdough sandwich loaf and test out the family's reaction.  So, today I am baking a sourdough sandwich loaf which is all white bread flour except half a cup of fresh ground whole wheat flour.  Of late, my starter has been less sour than it was before, so perhaps that will help, too.  Anyway, here are the pics of the crust and crumb.  While it was baking it filled the house with a delicious almost buttery smell which I find utterly irresistable!  Let's hope they like it too....

A cool loaf and two slices of toast later...

The children gobbled it up!  It is not sour, is quite light and fluffy, and very much what I was after.  Success!



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