The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Artisan Breads

sonofYah's picture

Well, things are starting to look up for me in the bakery business. I may have an opportunity to go to just one job. For those who have followed my blog here, I have been working both a full-time and a part-time job for almost a year now. There was even a three week period when I had two part-timers.

I am presently working part-time at a local Mexican bakery that also does artisan breads. What an awesome opportunity this has turned out to be. I am in the process of talking to the owner of the bakery about going full-time and leaving my job with the railroad. Not a big railroad, so I don't make a huge salary like most think. It is very decent, though, and my boss is probably the best boss I have worked for. I hate to tell him I am leaving if things work out at the bakery.

But baking breads is a passion of mine. It is somewhat of a spiritual experience for me. Eventually I hope to run or own my own shop.

So those of you who pray to YHVH, keep me in your prayers. And for those who do not, wish me well.

I know my family would love it if I had one job. I could be home in the evenings and on the Biblical feasts.

keen de'el yeshuati

Thaddeus's picture

Perfect Slashmarks?

April 29, 2006 - 7:38am -- Thaddeus

I was just curious if any of you artisan bakers had good tricks for getting beautiful slashmarks. I have never achieved really beautiful slashes after the bake, and I am wondering if there is something wrong with my technique. here is what I am doing, I hold the lame at a pretty sharp angle, and slash with a gentle sawing motion about 1 cm into the bread. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I tend to get little dog ears on the edges of the slashmarks, and they rarely "open" like the ones on textbook batards, and baguettes. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Joe Fisher's picture

More sour starter, and seeding starter with commercial yeast

April 25, 2006 - 9:09am -- Joe Fisher

I know, I said commecrial yeast and sourdough in the same sentence. Don't hit me! :)

My first successful starter came from the recipes and techniques in Bread Alone. The first step involved using a pinch of IDY (less than 1/16 tsp) along with the water and stone ground rye.

I've since used a bit of this starter to seed a white flour starter. Both starters are very healthy, and produce wonderful loaves (see my recent pictures in the photos forum). I never added any commercial yeast after the pinch at the start.

My only complaint is they add almost no sour flavor to the bread. I was thinking that the strain of yeast in IDY hasn't allowed the local yeasties to take over, but the sour flavor is from the bacteria, not the yeast, right?

Pedro Pan's picture
Pedro Pan

"My all time favorite is a blue cheese and walnut bread with 25% toasted waluts..." The Bread Baker's Apprentice, P. 234
Good place to start. This bread was/is truly amazing-- I more or less followed the proportions except I used the WW SD starter and added 25% WW flour to the final dough. Blue cheese was Stilton (Costco). Walnuts from Trader Joe's. This was some serious bread. Dinner was Lasagne coi Carciofi, Artichoke Lasagna...ooh baby...but thats another story. The walnut/stilton bread with salad was a perfect compliment to a great sunday dinner.

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Joe Fisher's picture

This weekend's bake - Sourdough rye rolls, plain sourdough bread

April 23, 2006 - 7:28pm -- Joe Fisher

Here's this weekend's work. My first all white flour sourdough bread (from The Bread Baker's Apprentice):

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And a whole pile (40!) of lovely little sourdough Craisin rolls. These are from Bread Alone. The recipe calls for currants, but the craisins are wonderful.

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luc's picture

Amaranth or Millet? Anyone with experience?

April 23, 2006 - 1:35pm -- luc

I've become somewhat of a grain junky. LOL!
Anytime I come across something that I don't normally use/eat/bake with I buy it in hopes that at some point I can incorporate it into my breads.

So the grains of the day are:

Amaranth and Millet

Anyone with interesting recipes?
The millet I'm used to seeing used for alcoholic drinks in Nepal and Tibet. Which are great but I'm interested in using it this time in my bread.

Both are quite a hard grain/seed(?) so I'm assuming that an overnight soak is likely.
Beyond on that does anyone have any insight into flavors they impart? Since most of my breads these days are two day affairs - overnight refrigerator fermentation and 1 hour proofing prior to baking the next day... will these seeds offer me any possiblities that I can't get with the whole wheat and rye that I've been using?

JMonkey's picture

Great Artisan Bakery in Cambridge, MA

April 21, 2006 - 8:01am -- JMonkey

Another bakery to add to the bakery map. Iggy's Bread of the World is a fantastic bakery, with most of their breads leavened with wild yeast.

Here's their site:

Address: 130 Fawcett Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138

Iggy's retail store and bakery is a bit hard to find. It's in an old industrial area, but folks seek them out. Most of their business is wholesale, but it's well worth going to the shop to pick up their wares. Raisin pecan is amazing (great for French Toast), their bagels are delightfully old-school (with garlic and poppy seeds all over the bagel, not just on top) and their baguettes are top-notch.

Joe Fisher's picture

Portugese sweet bread

April 17, 2006 - 7:07pm -- Joe Fisher

Here's Portugese Sweet Bread from The Bread Baker's Apprentice.

The recipe calls for letting the dough double in 2 hours (which it did), then dividing in half, placing each half in a 9" pan, and letting it rise to fill the pan. 2-3 hours.

Well, here's what they looked like after 2 hours in a 72 degree room, an overnight fridging (it was 12am by the time 2 hours had passed), and 3 hours in the morning:

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