The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Artisan Breads

gianfornaio's picture

Spreading loaves

December 13, 2006 - 6:44pm -- gianfornaio

I've been baking a lot of boules and larger (~1 kg) long hearth loaves, and want them to rise higher and spread less. I can't seem to get a loaf more than about 2 inches high.

I proof them in makeshift bannettons (tightly woven long sisal baskets) and the dough is wrapped in heavily floured linen. When I turn them over on the peel, they flatten out a bit, and then flatten more when I slash the tops.

In my last round with the oven, I made one larger long loaf, which I slashed before putting in the oven, and two smaller boules, which I accidentally put in the oven without slashing, so pulled them out to slash after giving them about 5 minutes for their bottoms to set. The boules sprang higher, but I'd still like to see more..

gianfornaio's picture

Poilane loaf vs. Zingerman's Pain de Campagne

December 13, 2006 - 5:41pm -- gianfornaio

I've been wanting to try Poilane's bread since reading about it in Reinhart's BBA and have found that you can order it directly from Poilane (

I've been considering ordering a loaf for my family in Iowa for the upcoming holiday, but am a man of relatively modest means and balk at the $36 price for a 1.9 kG loaf. I've discovered that Zingerman's bakehouse in NYC offers a similar loaf, their 2kg pain de montagne ( which they say "is the closest thing We've ever tasted to the much-loved loaves of Paris' premier baker, Lionel Poilane," for $20 (although I'm not sure how much shipping is, so there's that). 

indybob's picture

I have   been  working  on a distinct tasting  bread  which tasts like  stuffing  u use  on of the  unique  things  i do is  soaking  some pickling spice  in hot water  over night,, then i use  the  strained  water  for my bread,, adding,,,2  T  olive oil, 2 T vinegar  to make  1  1/2 C liquid,,,,, innthe  liquid  i add,, 2 T  dehy onion.. 1 t  sage...1/2 t  poultry  seasoning,,,1 t  celery seed,1 t black pepper, ,,  1 1/2 t salt,,,,,soak  all the seasonings  overnight,,, then  add  3  c flour,,,2 1/4  t yeast,,, i use a a breadman  machine,,, try it,,,,,indianabob  (grower of  fine  weeds  and a few  hostas)

Breadwhiner's picture

baking stone

December 11, 2006 - 12:49pm -- Breadwhiner

My baking stone has cracked into what is currently four pieces. I also don't like the fact that the size limits the length of my baguettes considerably. I would like to use something else as a stone. Does anyone have a recommendation? Ideally it would be something inexpensive, flexible in terms of size, and not too heavy. I'm thinking some sort of tile would work, but I would like to hear what others have found and where they found it (i.e. Home Depot, online, hardware store, flooring store etc...)

pumpkinpapa's picture

Organic yeast

December 9, 2006 - 10:16am -- pumpkinpapa

I'm new to this community and it is quite vibrant, I'm glad to have found it too!

When producing organic breads and one wants to certify them as organic, what yeast is available that is organic? I've found Bio-real only with it's one North American distributor, is there others? Would any natural source yeast like that from say Frontier Coop be also organic?

I can do so much with different strains of sours, but I would like to have something for the non sour organic bread lovers to.

Or am I just reading way too much into this? :)

beenjamming's picture

Fig and Fennel Bread

December 3, 2006 - 7:48pm -- beenjamming

I spend an embarassing amount of time wading through online recipe collections, mentally baking things that sound good. One afternoon I came across a fig and fennel bread recipe at, *actually* made it and rather dissapointed. The flavor combinations had so much potential but the bread was pretty substandard. I fiddled around with their recipe until it hardly resembled the original at all and the results have yielded a tasty staple.

Fig and Fennel Bread

JMonkey's picture

Lean 100% whole wheat bread?

November 28, 2006 - 8:14am -- JMonkey

I mostly bake whole-wheat breads, but I've had no luck making a lean 100% whole wheat bread that's tasty. By lean, I mean just water, flour, salt and yeast or starter. Every time I try it, though the crumb is usually tasty and chewy, the crust has a dry, bitter taste that I can't seem to get rid of.

Anyone having any luck making tasty lean whole wheat bread?

Mike P's picture

shaping dough

November 25, 2006 - 5:44am -- Mike P

Does anyone know where I can either purchase or view a video of shaping of french bread dough??    I started making french bread about a week ago, and while it tastes ok, the crumb is not as it should be, and there is usually a large slit through the inside where I have tried to shape it. Any help would be appreciated. I am using the recipe from Peter Reinharts Bread Baking Apprentice book.


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