The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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dmsnyder's picture

Today, I baked a couple of boules of San Joaquin Sourdough. The dough was 75% hydration. I used Guisto's Baker's Choice flour and 10% KAF White Whole Wheat. 

I baked the boules on a stone with my usual steaming setup. However, I poured more boiling water than usual over the hot lava rocks, because I wanted to see the effect of heavier steaming. As I had suspected from previous bakes, the effect was good oven spring and bloom but reduced grigne and a shinier crust.

The flavor is good, but I do think I prefer the rye over white whole wheat in this bread.


By the way, this dough makes very satisfactory pizza too.

Pizza made from a previous batch of dough, frozen for about a month.


SylviaH's picture

Put it in your Meatballs!  Roll your Meatballs in your homemade bread crumbs!  Make Rolls!

I was asked for the meatball recipe and for photos on yesterday's blog for Italian Sandwich Rolls I made useing Dan DiMuzio's recipe for Sicilian Semolina Bread...which I snuck in a cup of Organic White Wheat in enchange for the cup of Bread flour...forgive me Dan!!  It was my ADD..I think that's what you call it!

This is a recipe given to me by my 50+yrs. Italian girlfriend.  This is the way her mother made meatballs and was probably taught by her two 98yr. old aunts still living in the house where she was born in Cleveland, has the old orginal wood fired oven out back..and Gayle always tells me how there is a cemetary next door!  I just had to put that in...I've heard it so many times!  The Aunts did all their canning, making and wine making down in the basement in this 3 story old home. 

This is not exact measurements but pretty can adjust for your own taste...I like lots of garlic!  The clear bowls hold a cup and half when full with water...just to give you an idea of the preportions I used today. I also used 2 1/4 lbs. of lean ground chuck.  It made a lot of large meatballs.

Meatballs-  The Measurements I have pictured are for a larger batch, what I made today. 2 1/3lbs of meat.  All the ingredients pictured are the porportions I used today.  The clear glass bowls hold 1 1/2 cups of ingredients.

Meat can be a combination of Beef - Veal - Pork

I used only Beef   -  I do not use any salt  -  I think the garlic replaces the need for it!  Taste before adding can always put it on your sandwich later!

Recipe for a smaller portion of meat balls:

1- 1 1/2 lbs. Ground Meat

1/2 cup bread crumbs    I make fresh in my food processor, using my homemade bread, fresh italian parsley, finely chopped garlic, fresh ground pepper, grated parmesan cheese to taste.  Place breadcrumbs onto a plate for rolling the meatballs.

3 regular slices of bread soaked in 1/4 cup water- Do not use bread Crumbs in your makes them tough.

1 - 2 eggs

1/2 cup of Grated Romono Cheese

1 large clove garlic finely chopped

Chopped fresh Italian Parsley

Chopped fresh Basil  - you can use dried

Little salt and pepper.   I don't use any salt for the whole recipe...just fresh grated pepper

In a small bowl mix Eggs, Cheese, Garlic, Italian Parsley, Basil, salt and pepper

Pour egg mixture over meat add dampened broken up bread with most of the crust removed.  With wet hands, gently mix the meat until all is incorporated.  Keeping your hands wet shape into round meatballs.

Roll the meatballs over the bread crumbs.

Fry in canola or I use regular Olive Oil.  I fry at a medium to medium low heat turning until evenly browned.

Add to your pot of tomato sauce...and finish cooking if still a little pink in center of meatballs!

This is the portions I used today!

This is how many large meatballs I can count them ; )

This many plus 5 more!

Sprinkel with Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese

Crumb Shot for David and Pamela ; )

You could pick these up and easily take a big tender bite...Mike ate 2!










Jw's picture

upon multiple requests, here is a picture overview of my lazy bread (slowrising). It takes 20 minutes 'work', excluding oven and wait time, incl cleaning up. I don't remember where I once started out, I guess it was BBA.

Ingredients: 500 grams water (half a liter), 5 grams instant yeast, 440 grams white flour, 220 grams five grain flour (or rye), 2 tsp salt, 50 grams of seeds.


Stir the luke warm water and put in the yeast and let is rest for 5 minutes (while you mix the flour)

Add the salt to the flour, mix it to the water with the yeast. Mix it for about 1 minute. Left it up a bit and add some oil (this is walnut oil).

Cover it up with plastic seal, let it rest for 30 minutes before you put it in the refridgerator.

After 8-16 hours (usually just overnight, a few days should still be ok) take it out of the fridge. I use the tool to remove the dough from the side of the bowl and then turn the bowl completely over. 

Put some flour on the surface, do not knead (...). Shape it roughly, try to build some tension in the surface .

After 45 minutes, the dough will have spread a bit more. Turn on the oven (preheat at 250 celsius) and score if you will. I add a bit of water to the surface to the bread, add some rye flour and seeds. Moisterize which ever way you like best.

Here we go. 15 minutes at 230 celsius (450F) , 15 minutes at 200 (390F), then minutes with 'temp off'.  Then take the bread out so it can cool off.

And here is the crumb. Just today I saw an add selling these breads for 4 euro (5.5 USD), all my ingredients costs me 70 eurocents (1 dollar), excl the energy for the oven (plus I know what I eat, plus the taste is great, plus it's a great smell in the house, plus it only takes 20 minutes, plus I can take care of my own family, it is great to share bread with friends and family).

The disadvantage: there is no zen of breadbaking in this type anymore (for me).


Happy baking! 






Obsessive Ingredient Weigher's picture
Obsessive Ingre...

My first pass at the Portuguese Sweet Bread turned out pretty well.  I followed the BBA recipe exactly, and I found that I only needed 24g of water per loaf of the 42g maximum Reinhart allotted.

And now that is has cooled, the crumb shot . . .

davidg618's picture

Woke up this morning wanting to bake something, but also wanted a rest from building starters, poolishes, or sponges; weighing flour and water and salt and dough; and seemingly endlessly setting the timer. So I did nothing.

Until, chatting with Yvonne about 11 o'clock, she mentioned sticky buns: it had been a long time since I'd made them, "distracted as you were by sourdough, and sourdough, and did I mention sourdough?"

Three hours later they were...

... oven ready.

and, about forty-five minutes later...

...they had cooled enough.

These are from a King Arthur recipe I've been making for about ten years--a straight dough. I never turned the scale on; volume measurements all the way. Ahh-h-h-h, it was fun.

Yeah, I'm learning some new habits, but they've got to be comfortable living side-by-side with old ones; they ain't gonna die.

David G.

sharonk's picture

Most people associate pancakes with maple syrup, butter and fruit. Since I have had to stay away from sweets I have begun to use pancakes in a different way. I use them as a savory grain side dish to accompany soup, beans, and stew, sometimes even tearing them up, putting them right in the soup or stew. I use them as part of a snack with unusual toppings and spreads like peanut butter, tahini, chopped liver, salsa or gravlax (home cured salmon).
The high proportion of nutritious ingredients makes these pancakes a substantial part of a snack or meal.

We normally flip a wheat pancake when bubbles form around the edges. With gluten free pancakes we need to wait another few minutes after bubbles form because the extra moisture and density of the batter takes more time to cook properly.

Allow at least 7 hours of fermentation time after feeding the starter before using the starter in cooking. This will ensure your flours are properly soaked before cooking and eating.
So that means if you feed the starter in the morning the batter will be ready for pancakes for dinner. If you want pancakes in the morning feed the starter the night before.

Sourdough Pancakes – Basic recipe

For pancakes: prior to cooking, have the last feeding of the starter be ½ cup of buckwheat or gluten free oat flour and slightly less than ½ cup of water. Let ferment 7 hours. A pure rice flour starter tends to be on the thin, soupy side and buckwheat or oat flour will give the pancakes some needed density.

For 4 pancakes:
1 cup mature brown rice flour sourdough starter (including the last feeding of buckwheat and water)
1 tablespoon oil, melted butter or fat
A large pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons freshly ground flax seed (grind in a dedicated coffee grinder)

Mix oil, salt and ground flax seed into starter
Let sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the flax to thicken the batter. The batter should be like a thick cake batter.
If the batter is too thick whisk in a little water, a tablespoon at a time, until you get the desired consistency
 (The batter can also sit for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. The finished pancakes will be thinner and lighter)
Oil pan or griddle and heat to fairly hot
Spoon or ladle out the batter onto the pan
These take longer to cook than wheat pancakes so flip a few minutes after bubbles show up or the edges start to dry out.
Cook another 1-2 minutes and serve.

You can also cool them on a rack and refrigerate in a container for a 3-5 days. Just reheat them in the toaster.

SylviaH's picture

Today I prepared Italian rolls.  Tomorrow I will be making meatballs and Italian hot sausage and wanted a nice roll that would hold up to the fillings.  I have recently stocked up on my favorite Duram flour and Organic White Wheat.  I love Daniel DiMuzio's recipe for his Sicilian Semolina Bread useing the fine duram semolina flour.  But I also wanted to use some of my organic white wheat.  I used his formula and replaced one cup of the bread flour with one cup of the organic white wheat.  The rolls have a nice chew and crunch just perfect crumb for the saucey sandwiches....the rolls are full of flavor and will make wonderful...hoagies, submarines, or grinders!

There is a fruit stand about 2 miles from here that is selling these fabulous organic mango's ... Oh and I mean they are wondeful tasting!  I'm going back for more tomorrow...they were selling them by the box full very reasonable....maybe I could eat that many.  This is mango time of year!  I don't know the variety..all yellow in color...maybe someone on TFL does...but they are just delicious, perfect ripe and sweet!  I have blueberries and cherries...but this is a favorite..Mango Tart with vanilla custard and a very simple very easy to make Cream Cheese Tart Crust from one of my favorite recipe sites!  I will include the recipe here because this is such a great tasting tart shell and could not be easier to make.  It is wonderful filled with crab salad or anything you can think of in a tart!

The Biga Smelled So Good!

Mixing the dough is easy following Dan's instructions in his new book 'bread baking An Artisan's Perspective'

These are apx. 7 1/2 inch large sandwich rolls!  Minus one I ate!

Great flavor with a bit of chew and enough holes to hold the sauce!

Mango Tart's with Vanilla Custard and Cream Cheese Tart Shells

Vanilla Custard...coming to a rolling boil!


Cream Cheese Tart Shell Recipe........very easy very tasty! From

3 oz. Cream Cheese Softened

1/2 Cup Butter- or 1 stick Softened

1 cup All Purpose Flour

l. Blend cream cheese and butter, stir in flour just until blended and chill for one hour or up to 24.

Roll out and put in tart pans or cup cake pans are nice...

Preheat Oven 325

Bake apx. 20 mins or until light brown.

Cool add cooled custard and top with favorite fruits.

I love Jello's Vanilla Custard...the one that you cook!  Or the English brand by Bird's is wonderful.



hansjoakim's picture

This is Major Tom to Ground Control!

My local grocery store have just started to stock buckwheat flour, a flour I'm completely new to. To try to figure out what it's all about, I pulled Whitley's "Bread Matters" from my shelf - a great book by a passionate baker with a separate chapter on gluten-free baking. On buckwheat, Whitley says:

Good qualities: Traditionally used in Russia (in wholegrain form) to make kasha (porridge) and as flour to make blini (pancakes), usually in combination with wheat flour. In modern gluten-free baking, mainly used sparingly to provide some flavour and nutritional value in breads, cakes and savoury biscuits.

Problems: Disliked by some on account of its pungent flavour, which is an acquired taste.

Hmm. "Pungent flavour". Well... better start off easy on the buckwheat then, right?

So far, I've experimented with a buckwheat content between 5% - 25% of the total flour weight, and I can't say I notice any negative pungency. There's certainly a different flavour note to the breads; quite subtle and hard to describe, really. A subtle, piercing, nutty kind of flavour. Anyways.

Today I baked what I think is becoming one of my favourite multigrain sourdoughs: There's 20% buckwheat and 10% whole rye in this loaf, and the soaker is a combination of flax, sunflower, quinoa and pumpkin seeds.

Multigrain buckwheat

I do think the buckwheat makes the crust brown quicker than what I usually get. The loaf comes out with a crackling crust, almost like a baguette. And the crumb attains a slightly grey colour, also due to buckwheat, I would guess?

Multigrain buckwheat

It's fun to mix in different flours in tested recipes. Earlier last week, I used 30% whole rice flour in a pain au levain, and that gave the loaf a completely different flavour. Slightly bitter, I would say. Not something I'd like every day of the week, but certainly terrific together with an ageing brie I was having a love affair with.


For dinner, I went with a blind baked pâte brisée tart shell filled with scrambled eggs, a dab of Dijon mustard and freshly cooked crab. The recipe (and inspiration) came from Michel Roux' brilliant book on pastry.

Scrambled eggs and crab croustade


Cherries are also starting to pop up in grocery stores and markets around here, and this week I had the opportunity to make a cherry clafoutis (not photographed, recipe also from Roux' book) and a Gâteau Basque:

Gateau Basque

This is a very simple tea/coffee cake with a pastry cream and/or cherry filling. Since I had some left over cherries, I pureed a bunch in my mixer, and used that as the single filling in the cake. As I wrote, it's a very simple cake: Cream butter, sugar and eggs, and fold in flour, a speck of baking powder, some vanilla extract and load up your pastry bag. The batter resembles that of choux pastry, and it's deposited into the pan by first filling the bottom in a spiralling motion. Then pipe a border along the rim, top the interior with filling, before you pipe the top over the whole to seal it. Sprinkle on chopped almonds and bake in a low oven for just under an hour. Nothing too fancy, but goes well with a cup of coffee!

Gateau Basque

gothicgirl's picture

Posted on on 6/19/09

Is there anything more comforting than the smell of warm cinnamon rolls?  If there is, I can't think of it right now.

 Cinnamon Roll Bread 


While I love the traditional cinnamon roll, and believe me I do, I thought it would be fun to take my cinnamon roll dough and make it into a swirled loaf.  I tried that very thing with my regular recipe and it was a disaster.  The buttery filling left the bread wet and the eggs and fat in the dough left the center of the loaf gooey in the center.  Gooey in a bad way.  Not tasty.


Cinnamon Roll Bread 


So, I changed the recipe by reducing the amount of filling, the number of eggs and the fat in the dough.  The resulting bread was soft, fluffy, tender, and perfect for toasting and buttering for breakfast!


Cinnamon Roll Bread  


If you have any left that is past the freshness prime you can cube it up and use it in bread pudding.  I can't tell you how good that was! 

Cinnamon Roll Bread   Yield 1 10" loaf and 6 cinnamon rolls

1/3 cup water, (warmed, 110F)
2 teaspoons dry active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, warmed
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups white bread flour

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves


4 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk

Cinnamon Roll Bread 

Combine water, sugar and yeast. Allow to activate until frothy, about 10 minutes.

Cinnamon Roll Bread Cinnamon Roll Bread Cinnamon Roll Bread In the bowl of an electric mixer with dough hook, add the yeast mixture, buttermilk, egg, melted butter, flour and salt.  Mil on second speed for three minutes, then check the hydration.  The dough should be lightly sticky but not cling to the fingers.  Adjust as necessary adding additional white flour or water. 


Cinnamon Roll Bread Cinnamon Roll Bread 

Mix on medium high speed for eight minutes, then remove from the bowl and round the dough, making it into a smooth round ball.   Put the dough into a greased bowl and cover.  Allow to rise until the dough doubles in volume, about 60 to 90 minutes.

Cinnamon Roll Bread Cinnamon Roll Bread 

While the dough rises prepare the filling by mixing the butter, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.  Cover and set aside.

Cinnamon Roll BreadCinnamon Roll BreadCinnamon Roll Bread

Once risen, remove the dough from the bowl and, on a well floured board, press out the air with the palm of your hand.  Stretch the dough until it is the size of a half sheet pan (18″ x 15″).  Spread the filling evenly over the dough then, starting on the short side, carefully roll the dough into a log. 

 Cinnamon Roll Bread Cinnamon Roll Bread 

Measure the dough to 9 1/2″ and cut it.  Place into a greased 10" loaf pan.  Slice the remaining dough into six pieces and pace into a greased 9″ cake pan.   

Cinnamon Roll Bread Cinnamon Roll Bread

Cover with greased plastic and allow to rise for 40 minutes, or until the dough is doubled, about an hour. 

Preheat oven to 375F while bread rises.

Cinnamon Roll Bread Cinnamon Roll Bread 

Bake the loaf for 45 minutes or until it is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.   The rolls bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and the bread is pulling away from the sides of the pan.


Cinnamon Roll Bread 

While the rolls cool prepare the icing by mixing the butter, powdered sugar, and milk until smooth.  Once the cinnamon rolls have cooled ten minutes cover them with as much icing as desired.  

Cinnamon Roll Bread

Eat warm.  

Cinnamon Roll Bread 

Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.  Wait at least an hour before slicing.

Cinnamon Roll Bread

davidg618's picture

"doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different outcome."

Then the counterpoint must be, "Sanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and getting the same results." If so, I'm sane! Well, maybe that's going a little too far.

Nonetheless, I am delighted, so far, with my results. I repeated D. DiMuzio's pain au levain formula, and my processes, and techniques as nearly as possible on two renderings seperated by a week in time. "As nearly as possible" is the key; for example I used up all the bread flour I had on hand the first week, so the second go used a new bag, probably for a different lot, but the same brand (King Arthur).

A photo of the two bakings: The loaf in the upper left corner is week one (we ate the second, and bigger loaf). The two front loaves are this week's effort. There are slight differences in appearance--nothing significant--the biggest being the difference in crust color between the two same week loaves. After 10 minutes baking, with steam, at 480°F I turned the oven down to 450°F for the left hand loaf (the smaller one, by weight), and 440°F for the right hand loaf, which had to bake an additional 10 minutes. (I'd done the same the week before, but the crust color was more nearly the same.)

This is the crumb from the first week's loaf. We haven't cut either of this week's loaves, but by the feel of them we expect the same degree of openess. The flavor of the first week's loaves is excellent: good sour from slowly building the starter (30% of the flour weight) over 24 hours, and overnight retarded bulk proofing; the whole wheat flour lends a distinctive base note, surpirsing because it's only 10% of the flour weight; and the high initial heat, and steam, give the crust a delightful toasted nuttiness. The final test will be the taste of the second week's loaves, but we don't expect any significant difference.

We entertain a lot; additionally, we live in a community that frequently comes together for potluck dinners. It's reached the point that I'm expected to serve or contribute a loaf or two of my bread, and a bottle or two of my home vinted (if that's not a verb it should be) wine. I want to be consistent, or nearly so, that's why I'm focusing, at the moment on only two formulae: DiMuzio's pain au levain, and Hitz' baguette's.

Next week: Baguette's for the second time.


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