The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking Bread

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gunghorjc's picture

New to Baking and Baked my first loaf but it didn't turn out

October 26, 2010 - 3:17pm -- gunghorjc

So I've been wanting to bake bread from scratch myself, that way I could control the ingredients going in and get the most nutrition from it vs. store bought wheat bread.

I used King Arthur Flour and on the back of the package it listed a recipe for no-knead bread. It called for 2 teaspoons of instant yeast. However, being the new baker that I am I bought a jar of active dry yeast.

turosdolci's picture

For those who might be interested.

I have posted an article on NowPublic about the award given for the best baguette in Paris. You can link to it from my blog. The name and address of the baker can be found on my blog and in the article.

Ninathebaker's picture

A quick review - Sherry Yard’s the Secret Books of Baking is one of the finest books on Baking. She has created Desserts for Grammy Awards;Emmy awards and academy awards too.Even the most elaborate pastry creations can be broken down to simple pastry that anybody can master,that’s what Secrets of Baking is all about.Her book is like a bible to me.Not only does she talk about how ingredients work she also talks about how recipes are interlinked. Her Deep Dark Chocolate Tart and Halsey tart is to die for.I tried the "Danish Braid Bread" from her book and I must say it was just perfect….simply outstanding!!! This bread is called the “Vienna Bread” in Denmark and in the rest of the world it’s the “Danish Bread”.When I had decided to bake this bread,the looks of it made me a li’l nervous but it wasn’t that difficult as I had anticipated it to be.Sherry made it a lot easier .I tweaked the recipe a li’l to suit my taste. Here it is for your eyes….


Danish Dough-(called the D`etrempe)
1 ounce fresh yeast or a tbsp active dry yeast
½ whole milk
1/3 cup Sugar
Zest of 1 orange,finely grated
1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
2 large eggs,chilled
¼ Cup fresh orange juice
3 ¼ cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp salt

For the Butterblock(called the Beurrage)
2 Sticks butter,unsalted
¼ Cup All Purpose flour

3 Pears ,peeled and finely chopped
½ C Sugar
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
½ tsp Vanilla extract
¼ Cup lemon juice
2 tbsp butter

For the Egg wash
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk

Dough - Combine yeast and milk in a bowl of standing mixer,mix on low speed.Slowly add sugar,orange zest,vanilla extract,eggs and orange juice and mix well.Combine flour and salt and li’l by li’l .Knead the dough for five mins more until smooth. Add a li’l more flour if its sticky.Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30mins.

Butter Block – Combine butter and flour in a mixer.Cream on medium speed until smooth and lumpy.Set aside at room temperature.You should it end up with fully creamy texture,which should be easy to spread.
Once the Dough is chilled,transfer it to a work surface.Using a rolling pin,roll the dough into a rectangle (close to 18x13inches) and ¼ inch thick. L’il dough can help if its still sticky.Spread butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough.Fold the left edge of the dough to the right, covering half of the butter block.Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center right.This is the first turn.

Place this on a baking sheet ,wrap in a plastic film and refrigerate for 30mins.Place the dough again on a floured surface, the open ends should be on your right and left.Roll again to a rectangle, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third.This is the second turn. Again refrigerate the dough for 30mins.Roll out,turn and refrigerate the dough two more times,for a total of four more times.Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least five hours to overnight.The Danish dough is ready to use.

Filling – Toss the pears with all ingredients except butter.Melt butter over medium heat.Saute the pear mixture intil soft and caramelized.Cool it.(The original recipe called in for Apple Filling)

Make the Braid - Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough into a 15x20inch rectangle,1/4inch thick. Place it on the baking sheet.Create a fringe down one long side of the pastry by making parallel,5 inch long cuts with a knife,spacing them 1 inch apart.Repeat on opposite side.Spoon the filling down to the center of the rectangle.Starting at one end,fold the strips of fringe over the filling,alternating one by one,right,left,right and so on.When the last strips have been folded,trim them neatly.

Egg Wash - Whisk together egg and yolk in a small bowl.Using a pastry brush,lightly coat the braid with the egg wash.


Bake - Cover the braid with plastic film and allow it for proofing for about 2 hours,or until doubled in volume or light to the touch.Preheat the oven at 400F.Place on the center rack and bake for 10 mins.Rotate the pan from back to front,turn the oven temperature down to 350F and bake for 8-10mins.The original recipe called in for 15-20mins,but mine was done in less than 10 mins.Cool and serve the braid.The cooled braid can be wrapped tight and stored refrigerated for upto 2 days or freeze for a month.


Verdict – Aesthetic looks makes it all the more appealing.Good texture makes it all the more intriguing. This pastry tastes and looks best when it is filled with a fruit filling that isn’t very juicy.I love love loved it A must try recipe!

Seeking Chewy Loaves's picture
Seeking Chewy Loaves

I have some bread recipes that I am trying to "fix".  Whole wheat, multigrain and white sandwich loaf recipes specifically.  They currently yield very airy, light loaves.  This may please some but I am interested in chewy, relatively dense loaves with buttery crusts.  The current recipies produce crusts that are light and tear easily.. I am looking for more "chew" than "tear".  Any suggestions?  Do I need to type the recipe or does something jump to mind that I need to adjust, ie more sugar, more oil, more proofing time?

Many thanks!


gsgrigg's picture

Inconsistent Oven Pop

August 23, 2008 - 9:04am -- gsgrigg

Hello Everyone,

We are new to the site, and are excited about all the information here. We are learning to bake bread and are having a very difficult time with our "oven pop" on our breads. One time we will get the most magnificent "pop" and the next time, with the same exact recipes and temperatures, NO pop all all???

Does anyone have any suggestions for what may be causing this? My husband if VERY frustrated and threatening to move to San Fransisco to go to school just he can figure this out! (We live on the East Coast, so this would be terribly inconvenient :-) )

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