The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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Floydm's picture

I upgrade the site to Drupal 4.7.1. Knock on wood, it was mostly painless. Contact me if you notice anything acting too squirrelly here.

Hopefully the UI will be a little less confusing now. There are a few little improvements folks will see, but for the most part the site should look and feel the same.

Not too much baking on my part, of late. I did bake pizza last weekend:


as well as a porridge whole wheat bread that I was pleased with.

Oregon strawberries are finally in season, so we've been having excellent strawberry shortcake lately.

Floydm's picture

I'm trying to upgrade the site to Drupal 4.7 tonight. Wish me luck!

rmk129's picture

This recipe is the result of a mixture of ideas from a few different recipes. A moist and delicious way to use up overripe bananas and excess zucchini :)

May 31 019

Zucchini Banana Bread

A)Combine these ingredients:
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
2 beaten eggs
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups grated zucchini

B)Combine these ingredients and slowly add to first ingredients, mixing well.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
5 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt

C) Finally add these (optional):
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup raisins (presoaked in hot water)

D) Bake ~45 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean). My gas oven doesn't have a temperature gauge...
I went for what I call "moderately hot". Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then turn out loaves onto cooling rack.

Yummy warm!!!

yaya's picture

Hola! my name is Yaya, i live in Puerto Rico. And today i learned i have been a member for a week and 12 hours. I have seen some pictures and they all look great. Hoping to develop some good friendships.

rmk129's picture

Last week I managed to try a few other recipes with mixed results...

1)Rustic Bread
Very nice loaves of bread. Delicious!!! I made it twice (once with rye flour) and my husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed the two different types.

2)Sweet Corn Raisin Bread
I had quite a few laughs throughout the process of making this bread...since I have joined this site, I have read so many pieces of advice about working with wet dough that I think I took it to the extreme while I was making this loaf! After I *poured* the dough out onto my lightly floured counter (using my hands, arms and apron to stop it from oozing into the sink and off the counter!) I realized that I probably should have added more flour in the first stage :) Nevertheless, I persevered and somehow managed to shape it into a fairly round object (this required much patience and a constantly running tap to clean dough off my hands). I then plopped the globular mass of dough into a bowl that I had covered with a heavily floured teatowel and proceeded to clean up the huge mess I had made all over the counter! Sometimes I think it is a blessing in disguise that I have such a tiny little kitchen because then at least even huge messes remain somewhat manageable :) It rose very well, but to finish off my adventure, I really screwed up the scoring process by changing my mind halfway through...after all was said and done, the baked loaf looked like a golden brown loaf that had been attacked from above before it made it into the oven. However, it was scrumptious with a nice crumb...maybe I will have better luck with the process next time. There WILL be a "next time"!!!

3)Whole wheat/flax seed/bran/oatmeal bread
My own "failproof" recipe that has never let me down...until this week. Do you see a pattern here? I bought my whole wheat flour from a bulk health food store this week and it was very coarsely ground (I even found 1" bits of wheat ?chaff? in it!). I also had a very busy day so I ended up leaving the dough in the fridge for most of the first the end, I produced 2 teeny little loaves. At least they were not rock hard...they were actually quite moist and tasty. Probably a good way to prepare bread for bringing on an overnight backpacking trip :) I guess that is the beauty of baking bread...pretty hard to screw up a loaf so bad that it isn't worth eating!

4)Baguettes Bizarre
In order to keep my current disaster "streak" going, I decided to try out a new recipe for baguettes instead of my usual. So as I type, I am halfway through the process and keeping my fingers crossed. I got the recipe from a website link from this site, and it is completely different than any recipe I have ever tried so I will see how it works...on the website, she admits that this is actually a Reinhart recipe that he got from a parisian baker "Baguettes Ancienne". I had to mix up the flour, salt, yeast and ice water last night, knead it for 6 minutes with my mixmaster, then put it in the fridge overnight. This is not the usual biga/poolish method, because you don't add any additional ingredients the next day...what you start with the night before is what you end up with. Now it says to let the dough rest on the counter for 3 hours, then simply shape the dough (which the website author had huge difficulties with and I'm sure I will too) and throw the baguettes in the oven. Seems like such a short process compared to the way I usually do it, so I thought I would give it a try... Wish me luck!!!

5)Banana Zucchini Bread
On this weekend's list due to the fact that both of these ingredients are approaching the decay stage in my fridge...sounds yummy, doesn't it? :) I was originally going to follow a recipe I got from the web:Banana Zucchini Bread. I didn't have any self-rising flour, but I read somewhere that for every cup of flour you should add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt to make it equivalent to self-rising flour. Hmmm...that would mean adding 3.5 x 1.5 = 5 1/4 tsp of baking I smell another disaster in the offing???? I guess it would make sense to end my week of oozing, non-rising, flopping, slashed-apart bread with a loaf that explodes out of the oven :) I just popped my loaves in the oven 5 minutes ago, and the ingredients I ended up adding actually ended up being a mixture from the original recipe (linked above), Linda's Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread, Floydm's Better Banana Bread, and a few of my own additions :) If it works out, I will post the recipe in my next blog entry so I don't forget what I did!

Gedunkleberg's picture

I took my first stab at ciabatta last night. I used the poolish recipe from Bread Baker's Apprentice, which seemed simple enough, but I hit a few fateful snags along the way. Snag #1: Because the poolish was so glutenous and full of air pockets, I could not get it to blend completely with the flour. Thus, as with my attempt at pain sur poolish, I ended up with some lumps in my dough. Should I have tried to deflate the poolish before mixing it with the other ingredients? Snag #2: It seemed like I had to add quite a bit of extra water to achieve the desired slack consistency. I did not measure my poolish, but I assumed it was the amount that the ciabatta called for, because the poolish recipe specifically says that it makes enough for the ciabatta. Snag #3: Even though I floured my counter, the dough got quite stuck during primary fermentation. When it came time for me to divide and shape the loaves, I had no choice but to be rough in order to get the dough off the counter. Thus, I wound up with a dense crumb and only a few small holes. I haven't tasted the bread yet, but it smells good and has a decent crust. I will definitely be trying this recipe again soon, and I will be sure to line my counter with parchment and flour it very heavily.

Greg's picture

Hi, this is a great site and I'm wondering if there's anyone out there making the perfect bagel in Australia?

I'm Sydney-based and would love to hook up with the perfect bagel.


safaridoc's picture

When I slash my bread just before putting it into the oven I use a lame. Most of the time it sticks to the dough and I can't proceed easily. Any advice will be appreciated.

Gedunkleberg's picture

Having tried pain sur poolish and honey whole wheat bread last weekend with some success, I thought I would shake things up a bit this weekend and try the recipe for cinnamon raisin walnut bread from Bread Baker's Apprentice. The recipe was very easy, although I did have just a little bit of trouble getting the raisins and the walnuts incorporated. Making the cinnamon swirl was much easier than I expected it to be and actually kind of fun, and it looked pretty impressive when I cut into the loaf. I also did the cinnamon sugar crust on top for extra flavor, although I still felt that the bread could have been a bit sweeter. But then again, I'm a sugar addict. I think I might add just a touch more sugar and cinnamon to the dough next time I make this recipe and see how it turns out. The dough seemed to rise very, very quickly during both fermentation stages, which was good, because I didn't have a lot of time, but it also left me wondering what the deal was. I guess it was pretty warm over the weekend, so that may have had something to do with it. I still have a lot of work to do on my shaping...all of my sandwich loaves have come out a bit higher on one side than the other. I think I am missing the "rocking" step that is described in the shaping section of BBA. I will pay more attention next time and see what happens.

I really need to get a digital camera...

RichC's picture

I was originally going to try the Italian bread from BBA this weekend, but I forgot to write down the biga recipe so I had to scrap that idea. So instead I decided to come here and look up something else to try. The victim of my baking experiment would end up being Floyd's daily bread recipe.

As other people did, I found the dough to be extremely wet. I had to add another 1/2 cup of flour for the dough to come together. It was still very slack, but I could still work it. The only problem I had was that I think my attempts to steam the bread resulted in me inadvertently misting the bread itself which made the crust chewier than I would have liked. Also, my lack of baking stone and using the middle rack instead of the bottom caused the bottom crust to be a little soft.

The crumb came out really well too. Very creamy and open.

The flavor wasn't quite what I hoped it would be, but I think that has to do with the crust not coming out as well as it should.

But adding a few accompaniments sure did make it taste good! :)

I also made another 2 loaves of the cinnamon raisin walnut bread but used the correct amount of raisins this time, and substituted pecans for the walnuts. I had a problem shaping one of the loaves because there was a section with to many raisins and the dough broke around them. It caused about one third not to rise all that great. They still tasted great though!

Next weekend I'm going to try and mix it up. Maybe I'll take a stab at bagels instead.


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