The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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mse1152's picture

Well, now that the World Series is over, I can post...

This weekend, I made the Power Bread from PR's new book. It's the third bread I've made from that book, and I think I like it best. It's dense and heavy, with a definite sweetness and lots of crunchy bits, thanks to sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. It's like a trip back to the whole wheat 70s, if you remember that time...and if you don't, I don't want to hear about it!















There's a choice of milk, buttermilk, yogurt, soy or rice milk for the biga. I used nonfat yogurt. The sweetener in the final dough was brown sugar. Just reading the list of ingredients makes you feel nutritionally virtuous. I really liked the idea of a puree of raisins and flaxseeds. The loaf is literally heavy, but not like a doorstop...there's just so much good stuff in there! I baked it a full 50 minutes before it reached 195 degrees, and I think it could have gone a bit longer. The crumb looked just a bit moist in the middle when I cut into it more than an hour later. You can see the sunflower seeds in the crumb, and a looser section through the middle.















I added around 2/3 to a full cup of extra flour during mixing and kneading. It was still pretty sticky in keeping with the 'no fun to knead' nature of the three breads I've made from this book. The dough rose very well in the bulk and pan proofs, but got no oven spring. Overall, I really like this bread.


AnnieT's picture

Susan, I baked "our" bread today and got the best looking loaf so far - I used my stone and huge ss mixing bowl because the dough stuck to the smaller bowl a couple of times. I also realized that I have been too impatient with the dough and found the perfect cure - sew a quilt at the same time! No pacing back and forth watching the timer, no stretching it before the 30 minutes was up. I let it sit on the little propane heating stove to warm up this morning as the pilot light gives a gentle heat. I was so thrilled with the loaf and had it sitting on the bread board covered with a cloth when the family arrived for supper. They all duly admired it and my son started to cut it for all to try. As he got to the center there were two huge holes, and you can imagine how I got teased. They weren't at the crust like the lazy baker ones but they were big enough for the girls to pretend they were spectacles. However, the flavor was wonderful and there is only one measly slice left for me, plus the crust stayed crisp. They polished off the pasta too - time was when there would have been another meal for Nana. I have been thinking about the exciting times you have had lately, first the tunnel fire when you were in Cambria and now the wild fires - are you ready to retire to the soggy northwest yet? A.

dolfs's picture

My first attempt failed, but this second one was much better.

Thom Leonard's Country FrenchThom Leonard's Country French

The first time I was baking six loaves (3 different recipes, 2 loaves each) on one day, and I wasn't quite with it (tired). I did not take care of the dough well enough, I suppose. It took way to long to ferment and rise, and as a result was over proofed. When I slashed it, it collapsed, and never quite recovered in the oven. It was still quite edible with some soup though! 


So, back to the drawing board. Second time around I made sure I had a good gluten window. This time around I also did a longer autolyse, and waited to add the salt until much later. I did three folds along the way during the bulk ferment. Finally, I made sure I shaped a good really tight boule. The effort paid off. I had a minor collapse during slashing, but probably more due to me trying to slash "assertively". It came back just fine in the oven!

Thom Leonard's Country French CrumbThom Leonard's Country French Crumb

The crumb was nice, and the crust incredible. The taste was very complex and very sweet. Only a hint of sour. I baked this as an almost 3 pound loaf, so I did use only about 55 minutes of baking time, rather than the 70 minutes suggested for the 4 pound version. Internal temperature was 210F. I did not have high-extraction flour. Last time I did an approximation by sifting coarse whole wheat flour, but the bread came out a lot darker than it should. This time I used a fine whole wheat mixed with regular bread flour (Giusto's Ultra Performance). To keep the color down I used 50% whole wheat and 50% white whole wheat (both KA). 



See my My Bread Adventures in pictures 

fertileprayers's picture

When I read about changing my password this morning, I kept expecting to sign in by repeating the old password twice (like all automatic pilots do) and then brought to a page where I sign in my new password twice--but oddly, having a password that has 10 letters of odd caps and including two vowels only made me wonder if I were in 9th grade typing class again. It didn't help to be told to place a new password in the second box, when the old one was only 4 minutes old! A four minutes in existence password isn't old enough to be called old! Maybe former?


I am going to be asking people to discover kudzu and Juanita Baldwin who has explored the nutritional benefits of kudzu with labs and explore making breads with kudzu. This is important because of the protein and flavonoid content, fiber, as well as being a famine food. For anyone who knows a Great Depression survivor who didn't live on a farm, there will be no argument about this path I am exploring.


I have made yeast bread once in my life (not including the beer bread) and ducks wouldn't couldn't shouldn't eat it. A year wouldn't disintigrate it in Jacksonville, Florida in the front yard during rain, snow (1989 it snowed on Christmas Eve) and other weather.


 // Kudzu Kwestions Charlotte:





fertileprayers's picture

I was sent the password from Hades, I think!

jmos's picture

Can one make bread with Durham wheat. Have any of you tried it? I think it may make for chewy crumb.


VNAMan's picture

Can anyone help me?  I am new to bread baking nad want to bake a successful whole wheat loaf without resorting to a mix with bread flour. I have not been very successful using Reinhart's whole wheat recipe in his book.  I began by following the recipe to the letter.  I have added gluten to the poolish and the dough and still get a lackluster loaf.  I use bulgar wheat as the soaker.  I have laso tried spent grain.  The dough barely rises to the lip of the pan and then drops some when it bakes.  The taste is acceptable.  Are my expectations too high?

mvparrington's picture

I forgot to add the yeast to my bread machine. I usually just put everything in and let it do the kneading for me then I take it out and let it rise in a bowl and bake it after it rises. Today I pulled it out after the first rise and saw nothing happened to it and realized I had forgotten to add the yeast. Is this a loss or is there something I can make with this. I really hate throwing away food. any help/suggestions would be appreciated.

ejm's picture

Zorra has posted the WBD 2007 roundup. There were so many entries (183 entries with more than 200 recipes) that she has divided the roundup into 4 parts:
bakerboy's picture


So, here I sit...doing things a bit backwards...but that is what you get when you're a bit tired and attempt bagels the night before.

I read Floyd's Bagel wizardry and decided I'd give these puppies a spin.  As I am wont to do, I tried experimenting a bit without ever having attempted a non-experimental batch.

...ok, so I ended up "experimenting" because I didn't read far enough ahead while I was actually making the damned things.  In my defense--like I have to defend myself--it was 2am.

My first experimentation (which was supposed to be my only experimentation) came by deciding to really let the sponge ferment for a good long while.  I wanted the bagels to have a deeper flavour, so I let the sponge sit for a good ten hours.  Just as the sponge was threatening to devour my kitchen, I proceeded with the final dough.  Aside from having to mount my sponge and defeat the beastie-yeasties in order to get the balance of the ingredients into the bowl, it was a beautiful dough by the time I was finished kneading.

I divided it into vaguely similarly sized pieces, then rolled them into vaguely similarly sized balls.  As instructed, I allowed them to sit for 20 minutes before, rather crudely, shoving my thumbs through the middle to create the "bagel".

Now, seeing as it was, by this time, around 1am, I neglected to note that I needed to let them rise, just a skosh.  I sprayed the sheet pans, laid them out, covered them with plastic wrap and chucked them in the fridge.

After I performed my nightly ablutions, just prior to shutting down for the evening, I gave the recipe a one final look-see.  Here's when I look-see'd that I should have been letting them rise a bit.  Oops. I sit, buns (bagels) in the (lightly warmed) oven, seeing if I can't get them to do that wee rise before I hurl them into boiling water...


Hmm...well...some seem to have risen pretty well.  Others seem to have spread beautifully...while, still others, seem to be dying a slow, painfully puck-like death.  But my motto is: don't just quake, boil and bake!

All right...that isn't my motto at all...but we've only just met and that's some deep, personal information.  I'll call that my bagel motto.  I have mottos for each of my baking adventures.  For instance, my doughnut motto is: don't sit there and cry, cut them and fry!

OK...I just made that up...but I think I've just discovered my blog brand.

The "bagels" are now re-retarding a bit...this is because I would like to be able to actually get them in the water (which is currently heating).  They aren't easy to handle (read: you can't pick them up) when they're room temperature/freshly risen (ish).

More bagel hell later...or...the afterbatch.






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