The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


earth3rd's picture

I just made this bread the other day after watching Michael Smith on Foodtv. He was going on about how good the crust comes out if you bake the bread in a covered pot. The recipe can be seen at:

I used the pot method. Also the recipe I used was the "city bread" recipe. Followed the recipe to the letter. The dough was very wet, exactley the same as a poolish for french bread, a little hard to handle but I was gentle.

There is only 1/4tsp. of yeast, 16 hours for the first rise, 2 hours on the second rise. The bread tasted pretty good to me, much more flavour than a plain white bread.

Here are a couple of pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Just out of the pot


The crumb

txfarmer's picture

The recipe can be found here: - thank you David!

I used a bit more than 375g of water, so I am guessing the hydration is around 76% to 78%. For flour I used whatever left in my stock: 50%+ Gold Medal bread flour, ~25%KA bread flour and the rest is GM AP flour. Stuck to David's procedure pretty closely. Took forever for the dough to double, I think next time I will add warm water with the yeast and salt. I preshaped into batards. The dough looked wet then, but not scarily so, probably because I have been handling a lot of wet doughs lately. I did shape them as normal baguettes rather than the "stretching" method, since I was afraid there wouldn't be enough surface tension otherwise. I also tried my hands in scoring these. With such a wet dough, I was just aiming to make a smooth cut, so I held the knife more vertical than usual. It worked as expected - not that much ears, but decent scoring marks. The best part is the crumb, very open and hole-y:

Can you see the shine on the wall of the holes?

They do have a sweet taste like David describled, benefiting from the long autolyse no doubt. Comparing to Mr. Nippon's baguette, which has a similar autolyse schedule, but at a higher temp, I would say Mr. Nippon's is slightly sweeter. Both are very delicious.

In the first picture, do you notice that the bottom baguette's bottom side is not brown? That's because when I took out the parchment paper after the first 10 minutes, two of the baguettes slid too close together, the almost touching sides didn't get browned properly. Another lesson learned. Next I will try this formula with cold retarding, first suggested by a few TFLers here.

dstroy's picture

"Le Pain" by comic artist John Martz


jsk's picture

About two months ago I was in a trip to the US. During my staying there I've bought some flours I can't get my hands on here in Israel. One of them was Graham flour. I read quite a bit about it and I've found that a lot of people said it made a hard and unpleasant crust and the coarse pieces of bran and germ made it difficult to develop the gluten.
In that in mind I've decided to scald the Graham flour and make a mash, as I read someone here did successfully. So I started reading about scalding flours (WGB is a great source of info about that). I wanted to make a mash using 2:1 water to flour ration. The process was basicly bringing the water in a pot to about 150F, adding the flour and leaving it coverd for 1.5 hours to gelatinize some of the starches and to start the enzyme activity. After the hour and a half I adedd about 2% salt to inhibit the enzyme activity (a little like in a grain soaker). From ther it went to the fridge overnight.
I've worked up a formula for some sort of a Pain au Levain using 28% Graham, 5% rye and 67% AP flour. The intended hydration was 75% but I needed to add 2% more water as the dough was a little dry (probably because of the mash). I used a white stiff starter (65% hydration). I autolysed for 30 minutes and the kneaded in my KitchenAid for about 8 minutes. Fermentation was 2.5 hours with 2 folds. I then shaped the dough into two 1.75 lb batards and proofed the in a couche for 1.5 hours.
Here are some pics:

And the crumb:

I was very happy with the results. The crust was chewy and delicious and the crumb was open and light. The flavor was very good, slightly tangy and wheaty. If anyone has any questions or want the recipe, please comment.
Happy baking!

ananda's picture


This is just a quickie to show how I prefer this bread; as a steamed "pudding".   The "Pullman Pan" is ideal to make sandwiches, but I prefer not to bake this loaf.   Steaming time for a 600g loaf is about 8 hours!   Cool, then wrap in linen for 24 hours.   Finally, this loaf can now be sliced for eating; AND, it's so good!

Photographic evidence attached:

Best wishes


wally's picture

I love fresh bagels and croissants, but being a household of one, these present a challenge: I can't (and more important, shouldn't) sit down and eat my way through a half dozen at a time.  The other side of the challenge is the impracticality of making up either dough for just a couple bagels or croissants.

The solution that sort of forced itself upon me, but which I like more and more, involves making each dough up and then freezing it and taking out what I need the night before, where I allow both to thaw in my refrigerator.  An early attempt at freezing fully proofed croissants and pains au chocolat that I wrote about failed because I tried baking them without allowing much thawing at all.  I found that fully proofed croissants will rise nicely if they're given a hour or two at room temperature after being thawed in the 'fridge, but this won't work for pains au chocolat which lack enough yeast power to rise around the chocolate batons. 

So I've taken to shaping croissants and pains au chocolat and then freezing them immediately.  The only drawback is that they need close to 3 hours at room temperature after being taken out of the refrigerator before they've risen sufficiently.

Bagels, on the other hand, are easy.  You simply shape them, allow them to fully proof, and then freeze.  The day before I want some, I just take a couple out of the freezer and put them into the refrigerator where I allow them to stay until I'm ready to boil them.

So, today I decided that a carboholic brunch was in order - why not some of each?

The bagels were boiled in water with some honey for their sheen and a little salt.  A 45 second boil on each side and then topped with sesame and poppy seeds and allowed to dry for about 5 minutes.  Then into a hot oven (about 480 F) for 15 minutes and voilà! 

The 3 hours the croissants needed were perfect for brunch-time.  As you can see, the shaping of the croissants is pug-ugly (apologies to pug owners), but the lamination looked pretty good to me.  And they are deliciously decadent - no need for butter!

Mimosas are my usual brunch drink of choice, but I picked up a wonderful bottle of a pear 'port' from a local vineyard (Fabbioli Vineyards) that they made blending their own pear wine with pear brandy that my friends at Catoctin Creek Distillery made for them using Fabbioli's pear wine. (I can't wait to try the brandy!).

Who says port has to be an après dîner affair? 

All in all a splendid brunch that has me carbo-loaded for the day.

daysi's picture

Hello all!!

Has anybody ever tried to make the recipe at the back of the package of Rogers Rye flour??

Well, I am making it right now, it's on its first rise. As always there is something wrong with my dough, it was very very super wet, the recipe calls for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups of white flour in addition to the 3 cups of rye flour. Although the recipe does not call for sifting the flour prior to measuring, I did it, (for the first time, I took the time to sift the flours). By the way I used 3 1/2.

I have no idea if the pre-sifting has anything to do with this disaster, but after mixing all the ingredients I was ready to start kneading, and as I said the dough was waaaay too wet, it was all stuck to my hands and to the table, there was no way I was able to form a ball, after kneading for 5 min I decided to add more WF, I ended up using about 2 cups more and still the dough was super sticky I had to lift it with the scraper 'cause it would not leave my hands and the board, Anyway I put it to rest I don't know what the final product is going to be like, so in the mean time why is this happening to me I mean why is the dough so so so wet?

did this happen to any of you as well.


dmsnyder's picture

Nothing new in today's baking, but these are two of my favorites.

The San Francisco Sourdough is from Suas' "Advanced Bread and Pastry." I fed my stock starter to make a firm levain with KAF Bread Flour and BRM Dark Rye. The final dough was mixed with KAF AP. The San Joaquin Sourdough was made as previously described (many times). This batch was made with a 73% hydration dough.

I feel my bâtard shaping is coming along. I'm using the technique described in Hamelman's "Bread."

San Francisco Sourdough crumb

San Joaquin Sourdough crumb

I also made a batch of tagliatelle. I use Marcella Hazan's recipe which calls for 2 large eggs and 1 1/2 cups of AP flour. However, I have been curious how it would be made with Italian doppio 0 flour. I used Caputo red label. To my surprise, it was much thirstier than KAF AP, and I had to add a couple tablespoons of water to the dough for it to come together. Even with the added water, the dough was drier than usual. I was surprised because Marcella says the recipe usually used in Italy is 1 cup of flour to one egg. I wonder if Italian eggs are usually larger than our "large" eggs, or if there is another explanation. Maybe one of our Italian members has an explanation.

In any event, the pasta, made with an Atlas crank pasta machine, sure seems lovely. I'll see how it tastes at dinner tomorrow, with a sauce of home made ground turkey Italian sausage and kale.


abunaloaf's picture

I am looking for a dough hook and whisk for a 10 quart Hobart.  Does anyone know where I could find those parts?  Hobart no longer makes that size machine or parts.  I am wondering if the 12 quart attachment (dough hook) would fit.  If it can fit on the machine I can have it cut to fit.  I can live without the whisk as I need the machine to knead bread which I now do by hand.  I have a 6 quart Kitchen Aid which is suitable for small batches of dough.

overnight baker's picture
overnight baker

I intended to start a blog and leave a post every week with updates of a new loaf or new idea as a way to help me keep on experimenting and learning. So far, alas I have fallen at the first hurdle, after an impromptu trip to Paris I failed to update my blog the first week and haven't done so since.

It's not all bad though as Paris has been a real eye opener. I got into making bread seriously because of a lack of good local bakeries. When I moved to a new flat in a new area last year I discovered my high street had 2 greengrocers, a really good butchers and a plethora of small local independent stores, but alas no bakery! Even a trip to the nearby city centre left me empty handed but for a handful of instore supermarket bakeries and the omnipresent Greggs (a UK bakery chain that provides cheap, cheerful but ultimately soul destroying baked products). A short ferry/train trip across the channel however and it's a completely different story. Around every corner of every street in every arrondissemont the fresh smell of bread could be smelled wafting from a small boulangerie. The whole country must be teeming with bakers to be able to fill all those stores with such a variety of doughy delights. Don't get me wrong it's not as if the UK has worse bread, when you find it some of the stuff is delicious. It's just that good bread is comparitively so hard to find. And it's not as if we don't desire good bread, I recentely read Britons make far more bread at home than our french counterparts (and it's not hard to imagine why). Maybe the lack of good bakeries is a blessing, how else would I have discovered the joys of seeing the first bubbles arrive in a mixture of rye, water and nothing else (still amazes me), would I have ever even come across the words miche, banneton, lame etc. if I had not had to turn to home baking. Somehow however I still think I would prefer it if I had a friendly local bakery to buy at least the occasional loaf from.A small bakery on every street

As this blog has such a geographically diverse readership I wonder what others have to say about the provision of good bakeries in their area, and why some countries seemed to be able to have enough demand to keep a bakery in business on every street whereas others can have a whole town centre with nothing.


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