The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Artisan Breads

dasein668's picture

Whipped up a few loaves of bread for our annual Christmas Eve open house. These included my second sourdough loaf which was much improved over my first attempt. Of note, based on some hints from this site, I had moved my starter toward a much drier starter, then mixed the dough in the evening and popped the dough into the fridge for about 14 hours for the primary. I pulled it out and let it warm up, then gently folded a few times and proofed for about 4 hours at room temp before baking. Results were a nice chewy crumb with a gentle sourness that was quite lovely and not at all overpowering—perfect!

Here are the breads, left to right Potato Rosemary Bread from BBA, Pain a l'Anncienne from BBA, and a simple 65% hydration lean dough using my sourdough starter.

And sliced in a bowl.

crumb bum's picture

Adding grains to bread

December 28, 2006 - 9:43pm -- crumb bum

Hello All

A question for all you bread experts out there.  I have several breads I have perfected over the last couple of years.  I want to change up some of these by adding different grains like bobs 5 or 7 grain cereal.  My question is how do I go about soaking these grains or cereals so that when I add them to the dough they don't contribute or rob water to the dough?  I was thinking of soaking a given amount of cereal in a given amount of water and weighing the water that did not soak in?   Any ideas would be appreciated.  Thanks.

Da Crumb Bum

bitbyter's picture

That classic sandwich loaf shape

December 27, 2006 - 8:45am -- bitbyter

Ok, this might get long. I have tried to bake my own bread regularly in the past but always ended up discouraged. I recently found this site and it gave me the courage to try again but I am again starting to get frustrated. As somewhat of a sandwichalohic I am trying to achieve that perfect "mushroom" sandwich loaf shape (looking at if from end on) that most store purchased bread has (even the bakery artisan bread). I am currently using the Rustic Bread recipe found on this site and while I like the results I still find it a little dense and it doesn't obtain the shape I am looking for.

Mike P's picture


December 26, 2006 - 6:37pm -- Mike P

Floyd I used your recipe for Oatmeal bread with Cinnamon and Raisins. When I am mixing my dough I save some of the flour from the recipe for the last bit of kneading. But I found I didnt use the flour which amounted to about a half cup. I usually have flour left over when I make French Bread as well, using Peter Reinharts recipe.  The altitude where I live is over 3500 feet.  Will that make a difference?? And the climate is very dry. I want to use all of the flour to make the amount of dough the recipe calls for, so I am wondering what would be the highest percentage of water to flour that I could use??

Breadwhiner's picture

wild but mild starter

December 26, 2006 - 1:18pm -- Breadwhiner

I have adapted the sourdough starter recipe from SourdoLady sucessfully to make whole wheat sourdough.  After reading a number of books, I have been trying stiffer starters in the interest of creating a more mild and more complex taste.  While I have been able to get the sourness toned down from vinegar to yogurt-like, I have only once achieved a complex flavor (tasted like a mix of cheese pears and nuts).  If anyone has had luck producing complex but mild sourdoughs, I would welcome suggestions for formulas and refresh timings.


sewwhatsports's picture

Classes in Vermont

December 25, 2006 - 10:20am -- sewwhatsports

Happy Holidays!  Has anyone else taken any classes at the Baking Center at King Arthur Flour in Vermont?  I took a class on sourdough and am planning to go back in February for a class on rye breads. If anyone is interested, the class is a 10 hour class with Jeffery Hamelmann over 2 days.  When we did the sourdough class we made 7 loaves in the 10 hours.  I learned so much I can't wait to go back.  Anyone interested in joining the class?  Space is limited to 12 people so you get a lot of great personalized instructions. Information is available on the KA Flour website.

sewwhatsports's picture

Rye Breads

December 21, 2006 - 10:31am -- sewwhatsports

My favorite breads are Rye breads with caraway seeds.  I would love to have a great recipe for rye bread.  I have not done the Hamelmann one yet.  I think I am going to look at The Bread Bible or one of Maggie Glezer's books  for a recipe.  Anyone with a great recipe that they would like to share?  I do have 2 active, healthy sourdough starters (liquid and stiff) that I can use.  Thanks in advance.

Rena in Delaware

ross's picture

Gas Ovens

December 21, 2006 - 7:34am -- ross

I just moved out of my apartment which had a simple, electric oven with one vent (which i had plugged) that turned out beatuiful bread, consistently. There was nothing digital, glass, or convection about it. Just your plain-old electric oven. Now, my new oven is a 6-burner, Vulcan gas-job. The range is fantastic, but the bread I bake in it is not. The heat seems to vent up the sides inside the oven itself and the external vent runs along the back of the oven which i'm hesitant to plug because of the gas-oven's need for airflow in order to combust the fuel. The crust just comes out pale, not golden, as I'm accustomed to, and not nearly as crusty either. I'm wondering if I should put my tiles on the floor of the oven, rather than a rack, but more importantly, what should I do about my crust? Any more steaming won't make much difference until the vent is plugged, right?

titus's picture

Recipe Help needed

December 15, 2006 - 10:01am -- titus

I need some help with a recipe for pain de campagne that is printed on the bag of flour I am using (I'm trying a new tactic in my struggle to bake bread here in Europe; I'm going to try out a regular French recipe).

Here are the ingredients:

1 kg flour (the whole bag)
800 grams water
60 grams yeast (yes, that's 60 -- they don't say what kind -- I assume it's fresh)
15 grams salt
3 grams sugar

The amount of yeast is really freaking me out! It seems way, way out of line. The suggested rising time of the dough is only one hour! There's no way I'm going to make bread that way!

Any advice on how low I can cut the yeast down to? I'm also planning to do an overnight rise in the refrigerator.


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