The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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gothicgirl's picture

My starter, let's call him Ol' Yeasty, is a week old and I decided to make a loaf of bread to celebrate!

He has been quite active, and despite his youth and inexperience, I decided to let him have a go.  We made a simple boule, Ol' Yeasty and I.

Not the best oven-spring, not the best crumb, but it was a wonderful first effort for the young fellow, and there was a decided sour note to the bread.  I do like that!

I am looking forward to my next try. 

vincent's picture




3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
1 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water, - room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, or shortening


Using the food processor, mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse to mix.

Add the olive oil and 1 1/4 cup water and pulse until all of the ingredients form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water (I did fine with 1 1/4 cup).

Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place the ball on a work surface, such as a cutting board, and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes (or until your hands get tired).

When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil.
Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the bowl, rolling the ball of dough around in the bowl so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.

When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 pieces.

Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes.(This step allows the dough to relax so that it'll be easier to shape.)

After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough. You should be able to roll it out to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. If the dough does not stretch sufficiently you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.

streatching dough untill it is a thin layer--then fold it up-- can be round,oblong ;sqare, rectangle or any shape---need not be an expert-that is know how to throw the dough around---important--do not add any oil while making the dough--keep dough for at least 3hours-so that dough wii become easily streatchable--use plain

Spray a light mist of water onto your baking fan surface then put the roti into the pan when you see a little bubbles (roti) then flip the other side then press the bubble by spoon gently press up and down to make big bubble if not flip again the other side and gently press again the bubble when it become a little brownie it's done put another roti

They should be baked through and puffy after 3  or less minutes. 


vincent's picture

to all  baker bloggers

my new recipe

Plain Chinese Steamed Buns
(Makes 12 buns)

Sponge Starter:
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (for lighter texture use 3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus 3/4 cup cake flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (or melted lard or vegetable shortening)
Enough lukewarm water to create a smooth dough, approximately 1/2 cup

You'll also need:
A steamer
12 3"x3" waxed paper square


·  In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the sponge ingredients and let it stand about 30 minutes (up to 2 hours)

·  Once the sponge is ready (it should puff up and have holes on the surface), add the flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, salt, sugar, and oil to the sponge bowl.

·  While your dominant hand is stirring the dough, add lukewarm water to the mixture a little bit at a time with your non-dominant hand. (Do I have to be this specific about the hand thing?) The moment you feel you can get a smooth dough that wipes the bowl almost clean, stop adding water.

·  Knead the dough right in the bowl, if you don't want to clean your kitchen counter afterwards. But if you need room to groove, feel free to dump the dough onto a large surface and let go of all your kneading inhibitions.

·  Once you have a smooth, satiny dough (after about 3-4 minutes), put the dough back into the mixing bowl, if you took it out, and cover tightly with a piece of plastic wrap. Let it rise for 3 hours in a warm spot.

·  You have three hours to get ready, so prepare your steamer and make the waxed paper squares.

·  After three hours, sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon of baking powder all over the surface of the dough and knead it in, lightly but well.

·  Roll the dough into a long log and cut into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball by pinching and stretching. Place each dough ball, seams-side down, on a piece of waxed paper.

·  Cover the buns with a kitchen towel and let them rise once more for 30 minutes to an hour. You know the buns are ready when they have puffed up and the tops look smooth and taut.

·  Gently lower the buns into the steamer, positioning them in such a way that allows for expansion. They should not touch each other or the sides of the steamer.

·  Steam the buns for 10 minutes. Remove the buns from the steamer and let them cool under a kitchen towel.


·  Make sure you don't over-hydrate your dough. It's better to err on adding too little water as you can always add more. Adding too much water will pretty much ruin the whole thing. You could try to salvage the dough by adding more flour, but that would just cause the dough to be tough. It's not possible to prescribe an exact amount of water as this has to do with the particular brand(s) of your flour and the moisture in the air on the day you make these buns.

·  Make sure the water is lukewarm, about 85 degrees F.

·  Make sure the yeast isn't too old.

·  Make sure the piece of plastic wrap covers the entire opening of the dough bowl. Exposure to air will cause the dough to develop a tough skin on the surface.

·  Make sure you leave the dough to rise in a warm spot.

·  After the first rise, work the baking powder into the dough thoroughly. This will help the finished buns to have a smooth surface.

·  Make sure the kitchen towel covers all the buns during the second rising.

·  When you lower the buns into the steamer, grab onto the corners of the waxed paper squares, not directly on the buns as you will deflate them.

·  Do not steam over high heat. Make sure the water is gently boiling over medium heat when the buns go in. Make sure the bottoms of the buns do not touch the water.

·  Don't let the moisture collected on the lid of your steamer drop on the buns.


·  Yes, one tablespoon of yeast. It may seem like a lot of yeast per roughly a total of 2 cups of flour. However, when you start the process with a sponge starter, the fermentation has already started before you mix the dough. This is different from the no-sponge method wherein the dry yeast is added to the dough at the same time as the other ingredients. A sponge starter is a good way to ensure reliable and quick rising.

·  Yes, these buns freeze beautifully.

 yes they can be filled..




bread and beer's picture
bread and beer

Hi Greetings from Maine, 

I just joined fresh loaf, i have been getting tips and ideas from the site for a while but just decided to join to hopefully get some feed back about an idea i have been working on a new pub/bakery called bread and beer, what do you think. We all know the close relationship bread and beer have, so the question is would you go to a place where you could get both home brew and a fresh baked loaf? I have been baking bread for a long time starting with sandwich bread for the kids and graduating to artisian loaves. I work at a couple bakeries now but they don't share the desire for multi grain healthy products that I want to produce, Do any of you bread lovers share the same desire for beer and bread that  i do?

proth5's picture

For those of you following baguette quests, a new "Best Baguette in Paris" has been named:  M. Frank Tombarel at his boulangerie Le Grenier de Felix, 64 Avenue Felix Faure (XVeme).

We have high hopes that Janedo can quickly make a trip there to learn his secrets.... :>)

Happy Baking!

vincent's picture




Serves 24


  • 1 cup evaporated milk

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup sugar + 3 tablespoon sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 5 tablespoons softened butter

  • 1 tablespoon vegtable oil

  • 4 cups all purpose flour

  • 3 teaspoons yeast

  • 3 tablespoon breadcrumbs just enough to rools the bread


·  Combine the water, evaporated milk and milk and heat in the microwave for 35 seconds. Run tap water over the egg for 30 seconds to warm it.

·  2

Add all ingredients (except the bread crumbs) in the order suggested by the manufacturer.

·  3

The dough is supposed to be somewhat sticky (when I made this recipe, it was not sticky but it turned out well anyway).

·  4

Spray two baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray; preheat oven to 375 degrees.

·  5

When the dough is ready, scoop out a small amount (about the size of an ice-cream scoop) and roll in bread crumbs in an oval shape; place on baking sheet.  1 inch apart

·  6

Cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled.

·  7

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

happy eating




mmdione's picture

- 500g all purpose flour
- 80g ground almond
- 20 cl evaporated milk 
- 6 eggs room temperature
- 250g sugar
- Powdered sugar
- 125g butter
- 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp of salt

Heat milk. Add the butter, sugar and salt. Stir until all is dissolved. When cooled, add yeast.

Sift in flour and add about 1/2 to the milk mixture. Mix until smooth and add the egg, beat well. Add the remaining flour mixture and stir until all is smooth. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise, about 1-2 hours.

Put dough onto a floured surface and roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 2 or 3 inch squares and let stand 20 minutes before frying.

 Heat oil in deep fryer to 360 degrees. Fry four rectangles at a time for 2 to 3 minutes turning beignets as they rise to the surface. When golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon onto paper towels to blot excess oil. Dust with powdered sugar and eat immediately.


* I find the beignets more tasty when using 150g of unsweetend dessicated coconut instead of the ground almonds

maxhoss's picture


This is my first time writting with a question.  I have been baking the 5 minute-a-day bread and reading this site for about four months. I love the site, it has answered many of my questions, but I have never seen a question like the one I have.

I would like to know if anyone has ever had a baking stone crack and break while in the oven? Had the oven preheating to 400 to bake my bread, had the stone on the rack in the middle of the oven. Had the loaves ready to be put in. I went to use my baking stone, (which I keep in the bottom of the oven) to bake my bread on and found that it had broken right in the middle. Nothing was set on top of it.  It just sat all by itself on the bottom of the oven until I was ready to use it. Is there an explanation?  Can I use it on top of a cookie sheet or will that defeat the purpose? It is a Pampered chef stone and I am at a loss as to explain what happened. Guess I am going to have to put the bread in my cast iron skillit and try it that way.


madzilla's picture

So I have been learning to bake bread.  I did NOT buy a bread machine, which I did consider for a while.  I was thinking about what would be easy, simple, less time consuming.  But when it came down to it, I just didn't like the constraints of a bread machine.  The loaf pans are so small, sometimes square, and the whole paddle thing just leaves me cold.  I had a bread machine when I lived in Germany.  I used it and hated it. It dumbed me down and I never understood the whole process of bread baking.  This made it impossible to troubleshoot or use anything other than the basic settings. 

Now, without a bread machine, I am so happy.  I feel like I have found a new hobby [that hopefully won't make me TOO fat!] and it is very exciting to create such wonderful works of edible art.  The breads that I have made so far, that have been successful, are a half-white, half-wheat loaf that is very nice, and would be great for sandwiches, cinnamon toast, and just about anything else.  The other loaf I have made that needs a bit of work is the artisan bread.  I have managed to get the right size, rise, and color...but need to work on the scoring and taste. 

Next I will try making a huge starter in the fridge and flavor it with some sourdough starter I already have.  Another really interesting thing I am doing, is using the bread mixes I am getting delivered.  Hodgson Mills makes some great mixes, but I don't use them as is.  I use them as additives to my breads for more flavor and the dough conditioning properties.  I could buy dough conditioner, but this is much more fun to experiment!

I also am working with gluten, and this addition is particularly helpful up here in the mountains.  I am at almost 8000 feet, so the high altitude is also a challenge.  But I am figuring it out as I go.

Thats it for now. Will post my recipes soon.

ejm's picture

A while back, Julie J was asking for advice on how best to crush cardamom for her Finnish cardamom buns. As soon as I saw the recipe, I knew I had to try it! And finally, this week, I got the chance.


I'm not sure if this is how the buns are supposed to look. I pretty much guessed about how much of an indentation to make for the butter. And as I was inserting butter into the thumb holes, I completely forgot about sprinkling extra sugar on top as per Julie's instructions. But I did think of using some inferior apricot jam on two of the buns. It turns out that this is a great way to use and improve apricot jam! I decided to make a 3-strand braided loaf as well. And then when I was placing the buns on the tray and worried that they were too close together, I shaped 4 of the rounds into snakes and braided them together into a smallish 4-strand round loaf.


Did I take my advice to use the coffee grinder to crush the cardamom? Ha! That would have been too easy. I used the mortar and pestle. Remind me to use our big sharp knife next time. The mortar and pestle is way too labour intensive and leaves rather large chunks of cardamom behind. Or perhaps I will follow my own Fresh Loaf advice to use our coffee spice grinder. Luckily, large chunks of cardamom taste good and are soft enough that we aren’t risking getting broken teeth... and the crumb is beautifully soft and moist. Absolutely delicious with or without extra butter! (The extra butter is really unnecessary! But oh so good!)




edit: link to JulieJ's pulla recipe fixed.


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