The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Artisan Breads

pincupot's picture

Hello. I am new to this and new to bread baking. Have been trying all types of recipes from several books but cannot seem to find out how to calculate adding oat groats and other types of grain to bread. Is there a ratio to follow? Do the grains need to be soaked first? Any assistance would be GREAT! Thank you in advance!

Joe Fisher's picture

NY style sourdough rye

June 11, 2006 - 12:39pm -- Joe Fisher

Here's NY style sourdough rye from The Bread Baker's Apprentice. This loaf is delicious!!! It uses lightly sauteed onions in it, and it's out of this world.

I used organic stone ground rye flour, which I think contributes to the great flavor.

I tried using vital wheat gluten for the first time. Just a little less than 1 Tb per cup of flour. It greatly improved the rise and texture of the bread from my last try at sandwich loaves.

The pictures speak for themselves. These are my best looking and tasting sandwich loaves to date.


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juliebean's picture

Inspired partly by Peter Mayle's Confessions of a French Baker and partly because of my love of thyme, I baked an adorable baby boule this afternoon. Both the aroma and the taste are lovely.

See the pics at the permalink here:
"Pain au Thym"

tomsbread's picture

It was another weekend baking binge as I experimented with local herbs for my pesto ciabatta. I subscribe to Dan Lepard's philosophy to use local ingredients and there was really no way I can continue to use herbs imported from Europe.

I experiment with a local herb called Laksa Leaf. It is so named as it is used mainly in this local dish. The flavor of the Ciabatta with the Laksa herb pesto was out of this world. When I made a tuna sandwich with the loaf, the herb complemented the tuna very well.

See the pics here

GAPOMA's picture

Baguettes & Type 55 flour

June 1, 2006 - 8:53am -- GAPOMA

My daughter just returned from a semester in France. When visiting her in Paris this spring, it was clear my baguettes needed to change from an Americanized "French Bread" to a more "Frenchified" true baguette with a much coarser crumb. When I asked the French woman that my daughter was living with for any "secrets" on making the perfect baguette, she said the secret was "a special flour", and she didn't think I could replicate it in the US.

Paddyscake's picture

Bagels..How do I package them?

May 29, 2006 - 8:53pm -- Paddyscake

Hey..back from 2 weeks of vacation..went through bread baking withdrawal...well honestly..
it wasn't hard to give it up for 2 weeks..but..first thing home.. had to feed the starter!!!
and had to bagels!! First time..they were awesome. BBA recipe was right on..the dough
felt know right away when you have a winner.

tomsbread's picture

Hello all,

Greetings from Singapore from another bread fanatic. This is a wonderful website for learning and I have learnt so much from it. Thanks.

I baked some Ciabatta today. The pics are in


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.

Joe Fisher's picture

Seam Sealing

May 21, 2006 - 8:29pm -- Joe Fisher

I just finished two sourdough loaves. There was so much oven spring, they both blew their seams at the bottom, and one split the top crust, in spite of the slashes.

So, I do have to make my slashes deeper, but I wanted to ask you all: do you do anything special to seal your seams? I press mine closed against the counter, then give them a pinch along the whole seam.



Joe Fisher's picture

Floyd's Pan de Provence

May 21, 2006 - 6:52pm -- Joe Fisher

I thought I posted this already, but it doesn't show up. Hmmm...

Anyway, here's my take on Floyd's Pan de Provence. I didn't have any orange liquor (the wife wouldn't let me use Blue Curacao!), so I substituted 1 tsp orange extract plus water to 1/4 cup.

I was going to wait until tomorrow to open it, but couldn't. :) It was soooooo worth it!


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