The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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Susan's picture

One-DayOne-day, 100g starter

Sponge-basedSponge-based, 50g starter

There were a couple of differences:
The One-day dough subbed 40g WWW, and added 1/8-cup sesame seeds
The Sponge-based dough added 1T oil.

Amazing difference, huh?

thebreadgastronomer's picture

amazing little bread shop in orangeville ontario canada, its a must for all people who love and respect bread

Floydm's picture

Tonight's sourdough loaves.


Quite good, though not as sour I as like. It was sunny today, so I had it rise quicker than usual on the table in the sunlight. I honestly think it made a difference in the flavor. I need to take advantage of the cool nights while the remain to do a few more loaves with long, slow overnight fermentation.

Floydm's picture

I was walking across the Portland State University campus last week and I noticed this:

brick oven

During the summer, the farmers market happens here. I gather someone must bake during the market. Neat.

ohc5e's picture

On Thursday of last week, I made pizza dough using my 100% hydration sourdough starter. I let it ferment at room temperature for a few hours before putting it in the fridge for 3 days to ferment.  After the long wait, I am happy to say the pizza turned out great.  I found a great site on the web for pizza dough run by a serious home pizza-maker.  Its got a lot of great information about Neapolitan style pizza, not all of which I followed. (i.e. I ignored the advice to cut off the door lock of my oven so that I could use the self-clean function to bake my pizzas at 700 degrees--I guess I just don't have enough commitment to the home-pizza making cause!).  I heated my pizza stone for an hour at 550 and used my broiler on high to cook the pizzas, which were cooked in roughly three and half minutes.  The crust was chewy and soft in the middle with a crispy, lightly charred outer crust.  The sauce was made from imported San Marzano tomatoes that I pureed with an immersion blender, two gloves of smashed, raw garlic, and a handful of torn fresh basil.  I used mozzarella that I bought today at a great Italian specialty store in Brooklyn (Caputo Fine Foods) that makes the mozzarella fresh every morning and salts it in a brine right in front of you--amazing.  I'm sure the pizza would have been almost the same using some good, fresh mozzarella from the grocery store but this was especially good .  I added a couple of tablespoons of fresh grated parmigiano cheese and when the pies came out, a healthy dose of olive oil.  I'm stuffed and can definitely say the pizza was worth the wait.  The link to Jeff Varasano's pizza site is  He gives very detailed instructions on kneading, etc that makes for an interesting read...

The dough was really wet compared to most pizza doughs I've made before which resulted in a failed first effort at stretching the dough.  But I did much better on my next try and by the third and fourth, I had the process down.  I just had to turn the dough much faster than I'm used to. I used a mixture of KA bread flour and imported Molino Caputo Tipo 00 pizza flour from Italy.  I used roughly three-quarters "00" and one-quarter KA bread flour, if I remember correctly.  The finely milled flour has a gluten percentage of about 11.5%.  I'm interested to try it in a ciabatta recipe.  You can buy it from  Shipping was pretty reasonable considering.  I bought 5, 2.2lb bags for about $30, including shipping.  

Hot PizzaShot of the CrumbShot of the Crumb

Underside of the PizzaUnderside of the Pizza 

caryn's picture

Since I have shared some successes on this site, I thought I would share a not so good outcome.  Today I was baking sourdough loaves for out-of-town visitors to take back to their home in Madison Wisconsin tomorrow.  I decided to make them two loaves of BBA sourdough with pecans and some whole wheat and rye flours.  So I scaled up my recipe to make 3 loaves, so I could taste the result before I gave the loaves to them.  I baked the first two, since I don't have room to bake three at once, thinking that if the third one was a bit over-risen because of the extra wait for the oven, I would not care, since my husband and I would keep that one.

Well, what happened is I was taking that first batch of two out of the oven  and....the first loaf went flying off of the rack onto the floor!!!!!  Naturally it was the better looking of the two!  (I am usually pleased with the flavor of the breads that I make, but the shaping could use some improvement.)

Thank goodness the loaf that I baked by itself came out without mishap.  So I will send our friends off with the loaves that made it out of the oven properly, and my husband and I will abide by the "5 second rule."  I am sure it will be fine for us to eat, but not to give away.  It looked only a bit worse for wear, having some cracks in the crust from the mishap!

BBA Sourdough With Pecans- 5 Second Rule!BBA Sourdough With Pecans- 5 Second Rule!

The other loaves that I am giving awayThe other loaves that I am giving away

holds99's picture

 Mexican Bolillos - Oval Rolls

Bolillos - Mexican Oval Rolls - Exterior

 Bolillos - Mexican Oval Rolls - Interior

Bolillos - Mexican Oval Rolls No. 2 - Interior

I was rummaging through some of my baking books, looking for something new to bake, and found this recipe for Bolillos (Mexican oval rolls), and decided to give them a try.  They're close to the ones I remember from traveling in Mexico.  I made the dough a little bit wetter than the recipe called for, trying to get a better interior.  They're slightly sweet as a result of a small amount of honey in the dough and are very good at breakfast... and the dough makes really good hamburger and hot dog rolls.  Of course, the Mexicans would probably want to "shoot the Gringo" if they heard me say that.  Anyway, I really enjoyed the baked goods in Mexico.  They make great rolls and fairly simple but terrific pastries and in the smaller towns the bakeries (and bakers) are quite good.  We think of tortillas as being the staple of Mexico, and they are, but they also make some very good bread, rolls and pastries down there.

These Bolillos were made using the direct method with yeast, no pre-ferment.  Although I did stretch and fold the dough as opposed to punching it down (as the recipe suggested), which, I think, gave me a better interior.  They have a small amount of oil in the dough which makes them slightly softer than French style rolls and, of course, a little sweeter as a result of the honey.  Since I sort of winged it with these, if anyone else out there has made Bolillos I would really appreciate hearing about your recipe, how you made them and how they turned out.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Spring has sprung and so has the Allium ursinum or Bear garlic, known in my woods as Bärlauch.



I have two containers of freshly plucked leaves gathered from the forest floor (before the storm hit us) and don't quite know where to start.....

dmsnyder's picture

Cheese pockets 1

Cheese pockets 1

Cheese Pockets cooling

Cheese Pockets cooling

When I was growing up, there was a Jewish bakery in town. It was quite excellent, and it really set my standard for Jewish breads and pastries. My favorite pastry was what they called "cheese pockets." I have found these in Jewish bakeries in L.A., and, in searching for recipes on the web, I found one on an Israeli food blog.  There, it is identified as Hungarian in origin. In Hungarian, they are called "Turos Taska." It turns out there is a similar Czech pastry, but all the links I could find were in Czech, which I don't read. I made the recipe I'd found a few months ago. I liked the filling, but the pastry just wasn't right.

 So, I described my memory of cheese pockets and asked our resident "Baker for over 25 years-----Ret," Norm (nbicomputers) if he had a formula that might resemble what I remembered. He generously responded in

Today, I undertook to make cheese pockets. I used Norm's formula for the dough and his procedure. I made a few substitutions because of the ingredients I had on hand with less than satisfactory results. To my good fortune, Norm was there for me, offering fixes and very gently explaining where I had gone wrong and exactly why. I highly recommend reading that topic to anyone who is still learning to bake better, which is, hopefully, everybody on this site! You can find a running account of my struggles and errors and how Norm bailed me out at

Here is the formula and procedures:

 Cheese Pockets

Coffee Cake Dough (Formula thanks to Norm)
Sugar                                     4 oz (1/2 cup)
Sea Salt                                  1/4 oz (1 1/2 tsp, or table salt 1 tsp)
Milk Powder (skim)                   1 oz (3 T)
Butter or Shortening                  4 oz (8 T or 1/2 cup)
Egg yolk                                  1 oz (1 large egg's yolk)
Large eggs                              3 oz (2 eggs)
Yeast (fresh)                            1 1/4 oz (or 3 3/4 tsp instant yeast = 0.4 oz)
Water                                      8 oz (1 cup)
Vanilla                                     1/4 oz (2/3 tsp)
Cardamom                               1/16 oz (1/2 tsp)
Cake Flour                               4 oz (7/8 cup)
Bread Flour                              13 oz (2 3/4 cups)

Other flavors can be added such as lemon or orange rind grated

Note: Using other size eggs or other flours will result in substantial changes in the dough consistency require adjustments in flour or water amounts.

Cheese Filling
Hoop cheese or Farmer's cheese 12 oz
Sour Cream                              1/4 cup
Sugar                                       2 T
Flour                                        2 T
Egg                                          1 large
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

Mix all ingredients well. Refrigerate until needed, up to 24 hours.

Egg Wash
Beat 1 egg with 1 T water

Streusel Topping
Sugar (all white, or part brown) 2 oz (4 T)
Butter                                    2 oz (4 T)
All purpose flour                     4 oz
Cinnamon                              1/2 tsp. 

1. Cream the sugar and butter.
2. Add the flour and mix with your fingers, rubbing the ingredients to a coarse crumb. (This can also be done entirely in a food processor.)

Mixing and Fermenting the Dough
1. Mix the sugar, butter or shortening, salt and milk powder to a paste.
2. Add the eggsbeaten with the vanilla and cardamom and stir.
3. If using powdered yeast, mix it with part of the water. If using cake yeast, crumble it in with the flour.
4. Add the water (the part without the yeast, if using powdered yeast, otherwise all of it),  cardamom and vanilla.
5. Add the flour. (If using powdered yeast, add the yeast-water now. If using cake yeast, crumble it on top of the flour now.)
6. Mix well into a smooth, soft dough. (10 minutes in a KitchenAid using the paddle.) The dough should form a ball on the paddle and clean the sides of the bowl.
7. Cover the dough and let it rise to double size. (2 1/2-3 hours at 60F.)
8. Punch down the dough, and allow it to rest 10-20 minutes.

Making up the Pastries
1. Divide the dough into 2.25 oz pieces and roll each into a ball. (My dough made 18 pieces weighing 2.35 oz each.)
2. Place dough pieces on a sheet pan or your bench. (I used a lightly floured marble slab.)
3. Stretch or roll out each piece into a square, 4 inches on a side.
4. Take each dough piece and press the middle with a round,  hard object such as the bottom of a small measuring cup to form a depression in the center.
5. Place about 1 T of cheese filling in the center of each piece.
6. Take each corner of the square pieces and fold 3/4 of the way to the center, pinching the adjacent edges of the folded dough together to seal the seams. (See Note)
7. Cover and allow to rise to 3/4 double. (30-40 minutes at 70F.) Do not overproof!
8.  Brush the top dough of each pastry with egg wash. Do not get egg wash on the exposed cheese filling.
9. Sprinkle streusel over each pastry.

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Bake pasties on parchment lined  sheet pan until golden brown. (25-35 minutes)
3. When pastries are cooled a little, sift confectioner's sugar over each, if desired.

Note: The pastries can be refrigerated overnight or frozen at this point. If refrigerated, allow them to rise at room temperature to 3/4 double, and proceed as above. If frozen, thaw at room temperature, allow to rise to 3/4 double, and proceed as above.


manuela's picture

Potato-rye flatbread with onions


my entry for bbd #7 hosted this time by Cascabel of Chili und Ciabatta and initiated by Zorra. Cascabel proposed a great theme: flatbreads.


2 cups (275 g) (Yukon Gold) potatoes, peeled and diced

2 tbsp (18 g) kosher salt

2 tbsp (15 g) yellow cornmeal (whole grain, stone ground)

1 cup (102 g) dark rye flour

3 cups (400 g) bread flour (King Arthur brand) or as needed

1/2 tbsp (6 g) sugar

1 tsp (4 g) active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp (30 ml) warm water

2 tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter


1 onion, sliced paper-thin

1-2 tbsp (15-30 g) butter

Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Strain and reserve cooking water. Mash the potatoes and place them in the bowl of a stand mixer. Measure 1-1/2 cups of the potato water (add extra water if necessary to have 1-1/2 cups) place in a saucepan and mix with the salt and cornmeal. Bring to a boil, then take off the heat and add the butter, stirring until it is melted. Pour the mixture on the mashed potatoes and mix briefly. Let cool.

Once the potato mixture is cold, add the flours and then the yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp (30 ml) warm water. Knead until the dough develops, about 7 minutes at low speed. The dough will be tacky, if too sticky and wet you may need to add a little more bread flour. Don’t add too much, the dough should be tacky because of the rye and potatoes.

Place the dough in a buttered bowl, cover and let it rise—preferably overnight in a cool place. The refrigerator might be fine, but a room with a temperature of 50°F (10°C ), such as a basement, is best.

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C), place a rack in the middle slot.

Once the dough is fermented, take it out of the bowl and delicately, without kneading it, stretch it and flatten it with the palms of your hands to form a thin rectangle. Place it in a buttered jellyroll pan (11 x 16 x 0.5-inch—28 x 40.5 x 1.27 cm), spread on the surface the onion slices and dot with butter here and there. zwiebelplatz-1.jpg (click on picture to enlarge).

Immediately bake the bread for about 20-25 minutes. zwiebelplatz-2.jpg (click on picture to enlarge)

Notes: it is important that the potatoes are mashed while still hot and mixed with the flours when cold. Warm potatoes make the dough gooey and tend to absorb lots of flour, ruining the final result.

Mashing the potatoes with a fork so that small pieces remain whole is better than using a potato ricer—the potato bits are tasty to find in the finished bread.



From the original recipe by Florence Kreisler Greenbaum

In: “The International Jewish Cook Book: 1600 Recipes According To The Jewish Dietary Laws With The Rules For Kashering: The Favorite Recipes Of America, Austria, Germany, Russia, …”,1919—USA



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