The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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GlindaBunny's picture

It's been awhile since I've baked bread... I'm baking some today and it's rising right now.



I haven't been a complete slacker... I made brownies recently.   They were more than half gone before I could take a picture (we had company over - I swear I didn't eat them all myself)


The top is just a dark chocolate ganache with white chocolate stripes (drag the tip of a knife back and forth to create the design). 

AnnieT's picture

My son gave me a couple of bottles of light ale, some that had been brought to a party and he wouldn't drink, so I decided to try the Almost No Knead bread. I used 1/3c of my starter instead of the vinegar, a tip I got from Marie at Breadbasket. Mixed all the ingredients at 9pm last night and by 10am this morning it was pushing up the cover. What a nice dough! Kneaded it just 15 times and put the shaped boule in a parchment lined banneton for 2 hours where it rose beautifully. I baked it in my ss Dutch oven but next time I will use my stone and big mixing bowl. Good oven spring and the crust is still crackly, but the crumb isn't as open as I had hoped. Very light and tastes great, but no big holes. I just checked back on Marie's site and her crumb wasn't very holey either, so maybe it is supposed to be this way. Speaking of holey, I took a loaf to my son's house when I went for dinner recently, and as usual I was anxious to see what the crumb was like. When I said I was happy with the holey crumb my seven year old grandaughter said "Perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches!" I remember somebody talking about grilled cheese sandwiches where the cheese drips through and "toasts" - and he was right. Delicious, A.

HogieWan's picture

Thanks to a combination of techniques learned here (better kneading, shaping and slashing, esp.) and (maybe) a new baking stone, my oven spring keeps getting better and better. Last night I baked a simple 25% WW loaf. After proofing my shaped oval loaf for 4.5 hours, I put nice long slashes mostly-lengthwise acroos the loaf and the cuts immediately opened up, showing I'm getting good surface tension. Slipped it on the hot stone, and within 5 minutes, it exploded.


WW oven spring explosion


I didn't get a clear picture of the crumb, I'll add that tonight.

It tastes fantastic. My wife doesn't like "wheat bread" but she loved the slice she had last night. The crust is crackly and chewy and the crumb is soft and airy. I'm very pleased.

HogieWan's picture

My wife was asking me to make a "soft" white bread, so I hacked together a potato bread.  I'm not really sure what the recipe was, but there was WAY too much potato.  The dough was super sticky, but I forged ahead.  Oven spring was fantastic, but the bread was so soft the bread fell back in on itself upon cooling (the slash mark was strecthed flat upon removal from the oven).

 my first pototo bread attempt


It tasted quite good, but the middle seemed too moist.  It wasn't doughy/uncooked, but just way too moist.  I'll have to up the bake time next time I try this. 

scubabbl's picture

So, I made cornbread. Well, sort of. I made Reinhart's cornbread. It's not exactly what I was expecting for cornbread so I was a little disapointed, not to say it wasn't good, but I don't really consider it very good "cornbread".

Why you ask? Bacon. The bacon dominates the flavors. So much so that the corn is more of a side kick to the bacon flavor. Also, I guess I'm not a very big fan of buttermilk. Milk that smells like sour cream actually made me gag a little when I first opened it. I almost dumped it down the drain, thinking it had gone bad. But then a little research told me it is supposed to smell like that.

Next time, no bacon and whole milk to soak the polenta. I guess that's how it goes. Get a good starting point and mix to suit your tastes.

bshuval's picture

Hi all,

A friend of mine is originally from Ferghana, and he told me about a bread they used to eat there when he was a kid, called "Lipioshka". I understand it is a rather traditional Uzbek bread. It is a little like a large bialy in shape: a round disc, thick around the edges and very thin in the center. The center is stamped with a special tool (or simply pricked with a fork) to prevent rising. Traditionally, it is baked in a Tandr, an Uzbek oven not unlike a Tandoor. 

I attempted to make it from a similar sounding recipe in Maggie Glezer's "A Blessing of Bread". I've written about it extensively here:

However, I am interested to know if you had heard of it, or of similar breads. Do you have recipes you can share? This is a fascinating bread to me, and I am surprised at how little information I was able to find about it.


gothicgirl's picture

Reverse Puff Pastry

Butter Block:
190 gr soft butter
75 gr flour

175 gr flour
7 gr. salt
60 gr melted butter
70 ml water

First, you mix the first quantity of butter and flour together in a large mixer with the paddle attachment.  Mix until it is well combined.  Take this mixture and roll it between two sheets of parchment, as square as you can manage, until it is 3/4 of an inch thick.  Rest in the fridge.

Next, combine the second quantity of flour with the salt, water and melted butter using the dough hook.  Rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. 

After it has rested roll it till it is a little under half the size of the butter.  You will need to leave a border around the outside so you can fully enclose the dough in butter.  Use the parchment paper to help you enclose the package.  Removing the paper can be a trial, but just do the  best you can and repair any holes in the butter.

Allow this to rest in the fridge (this will become a trend if you had not already deduced that for yourself) until the butter is firm but not hard.

Roll out the packet until it is three times as long as it is wide.  Give the dough a three fold.  Rest for 15 to 20 minutes in the fridge and repeat this process 4 more times (for a total of 5 turns)

Roll out and make up as desired!

manuela's picture


I found a recipe for Chinese Almond cookies in a 1914 cookbook.

I think this is one of the best versions I have ever tried; they are made with rice flour and have a nice sandy texture. They are also gluten-free and dairy-free



2 cups (320 g) rice flour + a little extra to form the cookies

1/4 cup (50 g) almond oil

1/2 cup (50 g) almonds, blanched

1-1/2 cups (180 g) confectioners’ sugar

2 eggs

To decorate: 10-12 almonds, blanched and split in half + 1 yolk mixed with 1/2 tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C)

Place the almonds, rice flour, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until the almonds are chopped very fine. Add the almond oil and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the eggs and process briefly, until a soft dough forms.

Sprinkle some rice flour on a wooden board and roll small amounts of dough into balls about the size of a small walnut.

Press the balls with the bottom of a glass (floured), then brush with egg wash and place a split almond in the center.

Alternatively, you can roll the dough 1/4-inch (0.6 cm) thick, then cut the cookies with a round cookie-cutter.
Bake the cakes on baking sheets for 1 hour, making sure the oven temperature is not higher than 325°F (160°C)

Let the cakes cool on racks and store in an airtight container

scubabbl's picture

I made wheat bread on Sunday. After my mild successes, I guess I was bound to get served a good lesson.

Weight is more important that volume. That finally hit home when I measured out the flour only to find 1 1/2 cups on Reinhart's flour is equal to 1 cup of my wheat flour. I was following his recipe blindly and ended up with an unsalvagable mess. Or at least, I thought it would be to much effort to salvage. Started over. Much better the second time.

I also learned, I absolutely suck at kneeding dough. I'm going to have to try a different method. The French fold, the streach and fold, or maybe I could try using the dough setting on my bread machine. Or, I buy a mixer.

Has anyone had any success making just the dough in a bread machine? Can I mix it by hand and then throw it in the bread machine to slap it around a bit? Or would I really just have better success with one of the folding methods?

In the end, the bread did turn out pretty tasty. I still need to work on shaping and also understanding how much dough needs to go in my bread pan.

Coming soon... Cornbread!

Noodlelady's picture

This weekend I made the Fresh Herb Twist from Daniel Leader's Local Breads. It uses 3 fresh herbs — thyme and rosemary (from my garden) and basil. It was delicious with my beef vegetable stew!

Fresh Herb Twist

Fresh Herb Twist

Fresh Herb Twist crumb

Fresh Herb Twist crumb


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