The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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Any type of bread that doesn't fall into the other buckets: herb breads, sandwich breads, fruit and nut breads, anything else you enjoy.

nannycool's picture

The ultimate loaf

June 29, 2015 - 3:10pm -- nannycool

I am an elderly novice baker and my goal is to bake the perfect loaf.  After many good results and even more sad ones today I have a 'not sure'.  The mix was extra strong flour, toasted wheat germ, a smat of butter and honey, salt water and fresh yeast. The dough was very active and proved well. The resulting loaf is not what I expected. It has a soft crust and the body soft and fluffy.  What sort of loaf have I made?

thaliablogs's picture

advice needed - my first baguettes

June 26, 2015 - 12:30am -- thaliablogs

Hi all

I finally posted my first blog post last night, and would love some advice if you have time to look at it. I made my first baguettes - two different recipes - and want to do it again for a family party this weekend (in fact I have just finished setting up a batch of san joaquin sourdough and a batch of txfarmer's 36 hour recipe).

Any advice on what to do differently this time would be fantastic, thank you!


Helena's picture

dried yeast question

June 24, 2015 - 6:22pm -- Helena

I used to always find fresh yeast in the markets for my home bread hobby, yet the last 12 months, it is very hard to find. They are not selling it quick enough I think so are not wanting to carry it anymore. I have to now resort to dried yeast. Well, a few of my bread books say that if you are not using "active dry" and want to use "instant" this is not the same as "rapid-rise."

Reynard's picture

Baking Bread in a Chicken Brick

June 24, 2015 - 3:05pm -- Reynard

A few days ago in another thread, I wondered whether a chicken brick might be an alternative to some of the significantly more expensive options for baking breads in pots etc. So I said I'd give it a go as I have a couple of the things stashed in my cupboard... You all have to bear in mind that I'm still a bread newbie with a lot to learn, but I'm always up for trying something new. ;-)

Here's my oval chicken brick. The other is chicken-shaped, and perhaps a little heavier gauge than this one. I let it soak in cold water for about 15 mins before wiping it dry prior to use.

jim_bikerider's picture

how heavy is too heavy?

June 23, 2015 - 8:03pm -- jim_bikerider

I have just finished up baking 2 loaves of Hamelman's Whole Wheat bread using a yeasted pate fermente.  The actual bake was done using the lodge cast iron skillet/dutch oven combo. 

I only have 1 single d.o. combo so I baked them consecutively.  I put the first loaf in a little early, and it's a bit dense.  The second loaf turned out very nice indeed.

My question then is this:  will a basic standard old school gas oven have strong enough wire racks to support 2 dutch oven combos?

kitchen_monkey's picture

spraying water versus injecting steam

June 22, 2015 - 8:28am -- kitchen_monkey

I tired the technique of spraying water on bread right before putting it in the oven but it does not seem to give the same effect as injecting steam inside the oven. Why is that, doesn't spraying achieve the same thing as steam by covering bread with a layer of vapor that allows full expansion before crust formation? Is it possible that the water vapor I am spraying is not lasting as long as steam and hence not giving the same results?


RoundhayBake's picture

Vanilla, Cardamon, and Almond Praline Danenuts

June 21, 2015 - 7:23am -- RoundhayBake

Meet the new Danenut...Same as the old cronut. Just without the registered trade mark. :P

Following on from Bakingfanatic's superb Strawberry and lemon sherbert sourdough Cronuts, here's my more modest offering. No need for a recipe, Bakingfanatic explains it perfectly well in his blog. 

nitash's picture

tartine style country loaf

June 18, 2015 - 6:01am -- nitash

Hello everyone , 


have been experimenting with tartine style loaves and have been getting very inconsistent results . 


A couple of times my loaves were perfect with this thin splinter like crust and a gelatinous crumb which gave it a custard like mouthfeel. However now i am struggling to get that again .The crust is turning out to be thick and heavy with a crumb that looks ordinary without the sheen it originally had. A few things have changed 

Katnath's picture

Dutch oven disaster

June 17, 2015 - 10:24am -- Katnath

hello all, still recovering from my latest attempt at bread baking and I need help! I've been baking a tartine style loaf, no problems, for a while now. I use a staub enameled matt finish dutch oven, again typically no problem. Last night though, the loaf stuck and good to the pot. I could not dislodge it anyhow. In my frustration I ended up ripping the bread out with the bottom crust still stuck to the pot.  Total disaster.


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