The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Artisan Breads

anawim_farm's picture

This past Sunday I made enough dough to make four loaves of  bread using Daniel Leader recipe for San Francisco Sour dough.


This first photo is one of the two loaves I baked tonight, the dough having been in the refrigerator for two days.  The crumb was open and the sourness buildup wasn’t significant.  Lousy photo but the coloration was browned well, I  lightly sprayed the loaf with water then slashed, there was some tearing on these loaves from oven spring as well.


On the Sunday batch I used a glaze of one whole egg with a little water and a dash of salt. The coloration was nice and the crust was chewy instead of crisp which seemed to bring out more flavor. The glaze gave a nice texture and something I would like to experiment more with, maybe using just egg yoke. Even though the wash moistened the crust and I slashed the loaf.  It expanded out the slashes and tore along the side.


marsa's picture

I work in a bakery and I am having trouble with either having to much water in the dough or not enough.  I know that weather has something to do with this but it is very frustrating .  Any suggestions will help.

ehanner's picture

I thought I would share my results trying mountaindog's version of Country French. I didn't have exactly the right malt as called for in the formula so I substituted dry powder and a little raw sugar for the sweetener. I didn't get the airy crumb through out but there was nice activity in my wet starter which I am nursing back to a healthier condition. It's hard to see in the image but the crust is very thin and nice and crunchy. My family doesn't care for a thick chewy crust so I was going for a baguette style crust. I baked this in my new Steam Maker Bread Baker unit (background) with 15 seconds of hot steam injected, covered for 10 minutes then 20 more minutes of dry heat. The crust is incredible! Thanks mountaindog for the inspiration. I think this will be my new daily bread. The depth of flavor is very nice. I have another batch behind this one for tomorrow that I swapped some of the AP flour for King Arthur 7 grain. The combination of caramelized grains gives this a great aroma and chew.

pumpkinpapa's picture


February 19, 2007 - 9:48am -- pumpkinpapa

I have a friend who needs a lot of par baked bread on hand but I have been having difficulty getting the bread out at 90% baked, usually 180 F. My thermometer takes about 20 seconds or longer to show the temperature and with differing temperatures in the kitchens it's all across the scale unfortunately.

So I am looking at a Thermapen, it is expensive (120.00 CAD) but it measures temp in 4 seconds and has a good range too, -50 to +570 F.

tony's picture

high extraction flour

February 17, 2007 - 8:06am -- tony

Does anyone know where to obtain high extraction wheat flour? I've made my own from flour I've milled myself, and it's too much work with the rudimentary tools I have. So far, Google hasn't found me a source. Another question is Does anyone know of a bolting machine or other sifting device for making high extraction flour that is appropriate for home use?

Yet another question is Does adding white flour to whole wheat produce a flour close enough to high extraction flour to make the search for the real thing unnecessary?



Trishinomaha's picture

Have Failed Twice with Thom Leonard Country French Recipe

February 16, 2007 - 6:53pm -- Trishinomaha

I need some guidance please from all you master bakers. I made this Thom Leonard Bread last week-end and it was so hard and dense I ended up throwing it in the trash. I was home from work today so I started a new batch last night. I followed the instructions carefully and weighed the ingredients. This dough (after nursing it since late morning) was so wet it ended up in the trash as well. It stuck to the linen in the basket and was the stickiest (sp.) I've ever worked with. (Not that I have that much experience yet). I'm not giving up and will try yet again this week-end. Floyd or someone...can you give me a description for how wet the dough should be, ...what it should feel like? I guess this has been a good learning experience - I now know what too dry and too wet are. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

caryn's picture

Trader Joe's Honey seed bread

February 16, 2007 - 10:50am -- caryn

I offer a challenge to anyone on this site.  I am an avid baker like many of you and have had great success recently with sour dough starter breads- I think my best success was last weekend with the Thom Leonard's boule recipe from Maggie Glezer's artisan bread book.   It was flavorful and the crust was wonderfully crunchy.  (I still need to work on my shaping, however. It came out more rectangular than round!!)

JMonkey's picture

Well, I had mixed success with TomsBread's method. I mixed 450 grams of whole wheat flour with 388 grams of water (85% hydration) and just a pinch of yeast. I put it in the beer-cooler incubator at 85 degrees F for 3 hours, and than popped it in the fridge for about 15 hours. I then pulled it out, let it warm at 85 degrees for an hour, and tried my best to mix in 1 tsp yeast and 9 grams of salt. Wasn't easy, though, because the dough was very well developed by this point.

I then did a stretch and fold every half hour for a total of three, shaped it and let it rise for about 90 minutes. I forgot to slash the loaf, but I baked it in the cloche at 500 degrees for about 45-50 minutes, with 30 of those minutes covered.

The bread tastes great -- wheaty, sweet, a buttery after-taste with very little dry, bitter bran flavor. The texture is weird, though, which probably comes from my not mixing the yeast up well enough. Big holes in places with very dense sections elsewhere. "Fault lines" where the bread easily splits apart, as you can see on the lower left. I imagine thats from a layer of yeast that didn't get mixed. But I did learn that big (or moderately big) holes are possible and that 85% hydration doesn't have to mean flat bread. Next time, I think I'll try a combo of pain a l'ancienne with the NYT / Sullivan St. Bakery method. Mix up the full dough with cold ingredients and just 1/4 tsp of yeast. Pop it in the fridge for 12 hours or so. Then, pull it out, do three stretch and folds once per 45 minutes to an hour, shape and let it rise. Slowly.

Maybe I'll try it this weekend. If I do, I'll post how it went.

FossilPeddler's picture

No Knead Bread on a Stone?

February 15, 2007 - 9:22am -- FossilPeddler

Hi Folks,

I am brand new to the forum, but I am a pretty accomplished artisan bread baker. Mostly I make breads from Amy Scherber's book, Amy's Bread. I found the forum because I was trying to find a hint about how long one can effectively retard bread. I made some bread with a sponge on Sunday and I am just going to bake it today, I will let you all know how it turns out if anyone is interested.

However this post is about "no knead" bread. I had noticed it on this forum but didn't take the time to find out what it was all about. Then on the front page of our paper's "Taste" section (Minneapolis Star-Tribune) there was a huge article on this technique. What it didn't explain, and what I would like to know is... what is the magic of putting the dough into a dutch oven or La Cloche or some kind of receptacle? Can one make the dough, form a loaf, let it rise, then slide it onto a stone an bake normally?

anawim_farm's picture


Using Daniel Leader's formula for Pain Au Levain for the last few bakings, making both torpedo and boulet shapes

Levain                                                  18 ounces

Sweet Well Water ;)                               18 fluid ounces

KA unbleached Bread Flour 

with 20% KA Stone Ground

Whole Wheat Flour                                24-29 ounces

Sea Salt                                               3/4 ounce

On my first attempt at this I used all KA unbleached flour which resulted in a very wet dough that didn't rise very well.  My 2nd and 3rd attempts were better. The 2nd was the torpedo shape followed by the round.


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