The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


snazzmo's picture

Yeah, I baked a loaf today.  I improvised a recipe:

1 c. white flour                    4 t. oil

1 c. whole wheat flour          3 T. pepitas

1/2 t. salt                          1 T. wheat germ

1 1/4 t. yeast                     2 T. wheat bran

3/4 c. water                        2 T. sesame seeds, 2 T. flax seeds

Used the dough setting on the bread machine.  Took the dough out, let it rise 20 minutes, baked it at 400 degrees for about 22 minutes.  I waited an hour, then cut it.  It was kind of gummy.  Edible, but too gummy for my likes.

I looked here on Fresh Loaf, and the suggestions to fix gummy bread are: wait longer to cut it.  Bake it longer.

Well, I think I waited long enought to cut it.  But I had the distinct sense that this bread didn't get cooked enough.  Next time, I'm thinking: a) use a high temp and b) bake longer. 

Gummy bread has been a problem for me.  I could also ask my son Bob.  He's an ace baker and he might have some suggestions.  Actually, his bread is my ideal of bread.  His bread is super chewy and the gluten is really developed.  He gets this texture by mixing it a long time - he's got a Kitchen Aid Pro 6 mixer.  He bakes a lot of bread.





will slick's picture
will slick

Next week we will be celebrating my daughter Valerie's 23rd birthday. I asked her what she would like me to make for her. She  said, she wanted to help me try and make my moms Pastizzi to keep the family tradition going. I got the recipe from my sister and did a test run. We will need to  adjust a few things next week.

1. salt and pepper they were bland.

2 The shaping needs lots of work

The Puff pastry ( The hardest part) I was pleased with, It was light and flaky. I think Valerie will have her birthday wish come true!

Matt H's picture
Matt H

I wanted to make a lean yeast bread with some of the wonderful stoneground cornmeal from Ridgecut Gristmills that I posted about here. I decided on baguettes, since I hadn't used the fancy perforated pan that I bought from the King Arthur store in a while.

I loosely followed Reinhart's recipe for Pane Sicialiano, which he says takes 3 days, but I was able to compress it into 2. You start with a pâte fermentée, which is really just a lump of French bread dough. I used 1 1/2 cups of stoneground cornmeal and poured boiling water over it and let it sit overnight. (I don't really know if this did anything. I didn't introduce any yeast or malt for enzymes. Thoughts?)

Added about 1.5 c of bread flour, 1.5 c. semolina, 1 T. olive oil, 1 t. honey, and 1/2 t. instant yeast, and enough water to make a fairly slack dough. Kneaded a bit, let it rise a couple times, shaped, put it in the fridge for about 6 hours, took it out, let it warm and proof about 2.5 hours, then baked at 450 in a steamy oven. I rolled one of the loaves in cornmeal after shaping, to see if I'd like the crunch on the outside (yup, it's nice).

These were a bit of a departure for me, as I rarely bake with so much white flour, but I wanted the corn flavor to really shine through. And did it! Wow, a lot of corniness going on here. I think the long, slow fermentation also gives these extra flavor. Slightly sweet, a bit nutty even, with a creamy mouthfeel punctuated by firm nubbins of corn. At first bite, it reminds of a normal pan cornbread, but with a more satisfying chewiness.

I'd mark it as a successful experiment. Highly recommended if you like corn flavor. (The rest of the dough will be pizza tonight!)

Corn Semolina Baguette

Corn Semolina Baguette crumb

jennyloh's picture


In the middle of the week,  I decided to make some bread after returning from 2 full days of meeting,  I need to de-stress.  Picked up Bernard Clayton's book and saw this attractive name - Feather Bread.  I wondered if this is the same kind of bread that I had at the restaurant of the hotel that I stayed.  So,  I started late in the night.  Click here for the recipe


Well,  it didn't turn out like the bread from the restaurant,  although I shaped it like it,  it turned out tasting really good when it is fresh.


Somehow,  I realised that white breads seems to harden fast?  Rye bread taste even better as the days goes by.  I tried heating up the bread,  but it was not the same as freshly baked.


My son and I discussed that perhaps I should wait till we want to eat these breads,  have it ready in the fridge and bake it near meal times.  suggestions anyone?


DonD's picture


I had read about the organic stoneground flours from La Meunerie Milanaise (La Milanaise Mills) in Daniel Leader's Local Breads and through numerous posts on TFL. I was anxious to try them so a few months ago as I was in Montreal visiting friends, I was able to bring back three 20 kg bags of their flours. I had to contact the US Customs to have their blessing before driving back across the border with 132 pounds of white powder.

I purchased their All Purpose T55, Sifted Flour #100(T70) and Sifted Flour #50(T90) Flours. All are Organic and the latter two are High Extraction and Stoneground. The # designation indicates the fineness of the sieve. The T designation indicate the percentage of ash content of the flour and is based on the european model of 11.7% humidity content as opposed to 14% for the US. There was a discrepancy in the ash content listed on the bags and the specification sheets that I got from the distributor so I contacted the Milanaise office and got a detailed explanation from Mr. Robert Beauchemin, the Company's CEO. He explains that there is always a variation in the mineral content of wheat from year to year depending on environment and growing conditions. The key is the degree of "cleanliness" of the sifting to allow a percentage of the epiderm layer and the aleurone layer of the wheat kernel into the flour. The epiderm is the darker and tougher outer layer whose ground particles act as knife blades damaging the structure of the gluten while the aleurone is the lighter inner layer which does not damage the gluten. Based on this variation in mineral content, the two high extraction flours that I got are essentially T70/T80 (73.6% extraction and 12.7% protein) and T90/T110 (81.8% extraction and 12.4% protein). It is interesting to note that these are high extraction but not high gluten flours as the protein level is about the same as white bread flour. The All Purpose T55 has 11.4% protein.

I have been baking some of my favorite breads using different mixes of these flours and have been extremely pleased with the results.


The T55 flour is slightly darker color (light cream color) and grittier to the touch than the King Arthur AP Flour. The T70/T80 has specs of light color bran mixed in and the T90/110 is the darkest with bigger and darker specs of bran. There is no Malted Barley Flour added.

 Counterclockwise from left T55, T70/T80 and T90/T110 Flours

All three flours are not as absorbent as the KA flours and I always get a wetter dough using the same hydration. The dough consistently feels less sticky and is more extensible than KA. The dough also feels smoother. 

The breads are very aromatic during and after baking especially with the high extraction flours giving the crust a dark molasses, caramel, chocolate and roasted nuts fragrance . The crumb is always light, open and soft and the taste has a sweet, creamy and toasty wheatiness.


 Baguettes au Levain using T55 Flour

 Baguette au Levain Crumb

 Pain de Campagne using T55, T70/T80 and T90/T110 Flour mix

 Pain de Campagne Crumb

Happy Baking!


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

The Perfect Baguette Eludes Me...  My Breads are Getting Worse...


SylviaH's picture

Recipe from 'Lorenza De Medici's - Tuscany The Beautiful Cookbook'

Like most Italian Cakes, this sweet Florentine pizza is linked to a religious feast: "Carnival".    At one time lard was used instead of butter, which added to the flavor.


    After seeing this recipe in my cookbook,  I searched online for more recipes of this Sweet Carnival Pizza.  The only ones I was able to find were  written in Italian.  This was a frustrating and unfamilar dough for me to handle which resulted in me not following the exact procedures discribed in the recipe.  I was sure I had a total disaster on my hands.  After seeing and tasting my final bake...I may...may attempt it again!  It is a delicate delicious buttery flavored cake, lightly sweet with a lovely hint of lemon and would go perfectly with a glass of wine or a cappuccino or just a big glass of milk.

If anyone is feeling venturesome and care to give this recipe a try I have written it down with just a couple of modifications.








                     6 fl oz - 3/4 cup - 180 ml        Lukewarm water (105F to 115F)                    

                                              1 oz (30g) fresh cake yeast or 2 packages (1 scant tablespoon each) active dry yeast-  I used the

                                              Gold IDY because of the extra sugar in the recipe.

                                              11 oz/330g  All Purpose (plain flour) flour  - I used KAAP flour

                                              pinch of salt

                                              3 oz/90g  Unsalted butter, plus extra for cake pan  -  I used my round metal pizza pan

                                              3 oz/90g Granulated sugar  -  I used Extra fine baking sugar

                                              grated zest of 1 lemon   -  Large organic off my tree

                                              2 Eggs

                                              1 Tbsp. Confectioners' sugar  -  I used extra for added sweetness


      Place the lukewarm water in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let stand until dissolved and foamy, about 10 minutes.

      Heap the flour on a work surface and make a well in the center.  Pour the dissolved yeast into the well and add the salt.  With a fork, gradually work in the flour until all of it is absorbed.  On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Shape the dough into a ball.  Transfer the dough ball to a lightly floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

      Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.  Punch down the dough and gradually work in the 1/3 cup (3oz/90g) butter, granulated sugar, lemon zest and the eggs, one at a time.  Lift the now-soft dough and slam it down on a hard surface several times.  Using the heel of your hand, knead until the dough is no longer sticky.

      Butter a 9-in (23-cm) round cake pan.  Shape the dough in the bottom of the prepared pan.  Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 400F 9200C).

      Bake the cake until just golden, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the pan and immediately transfer to a wire rack.  Sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar.  Cool to room temperature before serving. 


















Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Today was a lovely day in Arizona. Still in our little rental RV. The garden is taking off and I'm procrastinating on buying dirt for my new garden area where the tomatoes need to get transplanted. That will be a hard day or two of work. So, I bake and train my dog instead.

I started my PR's whole wheat sandwich bread last night. This has become one of my three "go-to" breads for me. (Eric's Fav Rye and Hamelman's multi-flour miche being a couple of others) I decided to double the recipe as my mother says it was her "favorite" out of all the breads she tried so far and I'm going to see her tomorrow. I substitute soy milk for milk in the recipe which seems to work just fine. This time I also had stone-ground flour from Flourgirl51 which I had never used before. (her rye flour is wonderful!) So, I was wondering how a 100% stone-ground whole wheat would turn out compared to one made with King Arthur's flour. The other changes I made were coconut oil instead of veggie oil (or butter) and barley malt syrup for the sweetener. (he leaves all these substitutions fairly open in the recipe and I have used the soy and coconut oil before but I used honey and King Arthur flour the last time.

Results-taste is excellent. Crumb is surprisingly very open and less dense than with the finer store bought flour!! Perhaps because I was concerned and kept it extra hyrdrated to the point of extreme stickiness? I also did a couple of S/Fs this time as with the double recipe I couldn't use my machine so my kneading was inadequate so this could also have effected crumb? I highly recommend this sandwich bread if you're searching for a solution to the whole wheat "brick" that so many readers complain about (although I have yet to have too much trouble with myself)

Onto other adventures in baking...Hubby begged for more crackers. Being "me" I simply couldn't leave a good thing alone so I changed my original cracker recipe. Thankfully, it came out even better. Here is the recipe. (can you believe I wrote it down?)

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup rye flour

3/4 cup spelt flour

1/8 cup nutritional yeast (finally found something to do with the stuff!!!)

1 tbsp sesame seeds

2 tbsp flax seeds

1 tbsp poppy seeds

1/4 tsp each of ground garlic, cumin, cayenne, chipolte

1 tsp salt and coarse ground pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup water

Mix into a loose, crumbly dough that comes together in a ball. Put into the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to about 450. These can cook on a stone. (except in the RV, I used a cookie sheet upside down, that's another story) I rolled out about 1/3 the dough as thin as possible on a Silpat. (you may have to kind of put this together with your fingers as you go, it's a bit crumbly) It will look a little rough, try to smooth out the cracks in the middle so that it's all one sheet, don't worry about the edges.

Bake about 6 minutes. Check to see that's it's toasted dark brown but not burned. Take out and cool flat (I used a cool cookie sheet for this while I cooled off silpat for another batch)

Took me awhile to get the timing right in my oven, I'm sure you'll have to do some trial and error to get just the right doneness without being burned.  I think the recipe is very flexible just so long as the oil/flour/water percent is about the same. (I used all spelt last time)

Tastes like an expensive, health food store multi-grain crispy cracker.

To go with-I made homemade hummus with garden fresh parsley/mint and Meyer lemon juice. MMMMMM!Whole wheat sandwich bread

txfarmer's picture


Apparently I was in the mood of trying new things, with this bread I used: new recipe (Almond Milk Loaf from Dan Lepard's "A handmade loaf"), new yeast (a natural yeast from Japanese Shirakami-Sanchi region), as well as new bread pans from China, good thing everything turned out well!


First, the yeast - it is advertised as "natural yeast" collected from Shirakami-Sanchi, supposedly it's more active in cold environment than normal wild yeast, and it brings nicer flavors to the breads. It's in powder form, packaged in 10g envelopes like following. It looks very much like active dry yeast, and the way to use it is similar to fresh yeast - 2X of the weight of dry yeast in the recipe, needs to be activated by warm water (35C) for 10 to 15 minutes, fermentation speed is comparable to dry yeast also. Since it's not kept in a starter, it doesn't bring any sour flavors to the bread. It needs to be refridgerated after the package is opened. Honestly, while it's easy to use and my bread rose with no problem, I can't taste any special flavor from the yeast. No "subtle sweetness" as advertised, nor any complexity as from my normal starters. It's said that this yeast has special health benefits, which I can't verify either way. These were a gift from my friend in Japan, I don't think it's available in US.


Now the recipe - I LOVED it! It's a pretty straightforward lean dough with "quite a lot" of added almond paste. It's called almond milk, but there's no milk in it, just almond grounded with sugar and water. The bread has an even crumb, very frangrant and falvorful from almond. Perfect for both savory and sweet toppings. Highly recommended! Apprently the recipe is online here(, but you really should get that book, everything I made from it has been great.

Finally the pans. This bread was baked in pullman pans with lids on in the book, my pullman pan is way too big for trying a new recipe, so I used some mini cute pans from China (gifts from friends again). Had to try out different dough amount to get it right, as you can see I put too much in one, had to forget about putting the lid on:

Put too little in another one, which never rose to the lid, but the third one was just right:

As you can see, the shaping method for sandwich bread is a bit different here. It's a common way to shape Asian style sandwich bread. I don't know exactly why, but I suspect two reasons:

1. Asian style dough is usually very soft and enriched, and 2. Asian style loaf pans are long and narrow like the ones I used here. Both tratis mean if we roll the dough into one cylinder and put it in, it's not easy to get it even length-wise, by dividing the dough and roll seperately like following, it's more likely to get an even top. That's my theory anyway. I quite like the result.

Put the leftover dough in my 5X3 mini loaf pan, and it was a beautiful fit

Learned about the new yeast, the new pans, as well as a new favorite recipe, with delicious bread to boot, not a bad day!


turosdolci's picture

Why not try something different for Valentines Day and give your love ones a real double chocolate treat. These biscotti are perfect and wrapped in a pretty red box with ribbons would be a real surprise when opened.


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