The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


TastefulLee's picture


September 24, 2012 - 6:04am -- TastefulLee

Kitchenaid HOBART (i.e. it can actually handle dough kneading) Mixer in excellent condition. Comes with bowl shield, paddle & whisk attachments, and dough hook, plus 5 quart stainless steel mixing bowl. Photos are available upon request.

Beautiful off white color with very few blemishes. Simply stated it’s a workhorse.  Lack of counter space near an outlet and a recent lumbar disc herniation make it necessary for me to say goodbye to this reliable and favored member of my appliance family.

pmccool's picture

A shout-out to Ying Shi!

September 22, 2012 - 3:05pm -- pmccool

You may know her better as txfarmer, who regularly delights us with innovative breads and photography.  Jarkko Laine, another TFL regular who publishes an e-zine, Bread, features an interview with Ying Shi / txfarmer in Issue 3.  The theme for Issue 3 is Fermentation and Ying Shi / txfarmer shares some of the insights that she has gained in the past few years as she has transitioned from baking newbie to an accomplished baker.

Highly recommended reading.


Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

No proofing basket? No problem. Heh.

kathunter's picture

Bread Machine Bread Bakes Flat in the Oven

September 15, 2012 - 6:33pm -- kathunter

Hello Fellow Bread Bakers,

I just baked a loaf of part wheat part white bread using my bread machine to do the mixing and kneading. Then I took the dough out, punched down the air on a lightly floured board, then placed the shaped dough in a loaf pan to rise. It looked beautiful after about 30 minutes. But as soon as I removed the lightweight towel, the dough sank and did not rise again when I placed it in the oven to bake. What do I need to do differently?

Thanks a bunch,


savvyscrapper's picture

Can you complete a 5 question interview for me? Bakers

September 9, 2012 - 7:30am -- savvyscrapper

Hoping to find a few people who could answer simple questions for me for a paper that I am writing. 

1) Do you have a certification or degree in baking?  Do you feel it necessary to have a degree to become a baker?

2) What flours do you like to work with the most?

3) What is the biggest challenge in baking bread?

4) Favorite tool that you could not live without

5) Biggest lesson that you would share with others regarding baking.

dmsnyder's picture

Hamelman's "Vollkornbrot" is a 100% rye bread with sunflower seeds. The flour Hamelman calls for is "rye meal," which I just happend to have in quantity due to my error in ordering "medium rye meal" when I had intended to order "medium rye flour" from Well, as Kubler-Ross wrote, "There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from."

As it happens, I have intended to work on baking 100% rye breads for some time, my  past attempts having been less than wonderful. Clearly, my unconscious mind highjacked my order. So, after blessing my unconscious ... or something like that ... I proceded to takle this project.

Hamelman's formula for Vollkornbrot calls for 68.4% rye meal and 31.6% rye chops. I had abundant rye meal (see above), and I had a pound of cracked rye from Central Milling, which I used in lieu of rye chops.  60% of the rye meal is pre-fermented. The cracked rye is included in the form of a 100% hydration soaker. The overall hydration of the dough is 82.1%.

Other than substituting cracked rye for rye chops, I followed Hamelman's formula and procedures to the letter. The dough was drier than I expected, but still very sticky. It had no difficulty holding together. I shaped it on a wet board with wet hands and, after shaping a log, placed it in a pullman pan and smoothed it out with a spatula. The top was dusted with more rye meal, as instructed by Hamelman. I baked it with steam for 15 minutes at 470 dF then for another 60 minutes at 380 dF. I then dumped the loaf out of the pan and baked another 15 minutes with the loaf sitting on a baking stone. This was to firm up the crust, although it was very firm already when taken out of the pan.

After baking and cooling on a rack for several hours, I wrapped the loaf in baker's linen and let it rest for about 30 hours before slicing. The crust was very firm and chewy. The crumb was very dense, as you can see, moist but not gummy. The aroma and flavor were earthy and slightly sweet. I had some for breakfast with cream cheese and smoked salmon and enjoyed it. I think this bread would make great Danish-style open face sandwiches.

I have never had this type of bread before, except once long ago from an imported package. So, I really don't have a good model with which to compare my bread. From what I've read and pictures I've seen, I think I hit the target. I wish I knew how close to the bullseye I got. This bake was certainly superior to my few previous attempts at a 100% rye bread.

I'm hoping TFL members with more experience than I have of this type of bread will offer constructive criticism and suggestions.


dmsnyder's picture

Many TFL baker's have blogged on this bread, and for good reason. It is delicious. I haven't made it since last October. Today, I made three 568 g boules. I started with a liquid starter which I converted to a firm starter and fed twice before mixing the final dough. The formed loaves were cold retarded for about 16 hours then proofed at 85 dF for 2 1/2 hours before baking.

I have been making Hamelman's Pain au Levain frequently for many months and enjoying it a lot. This week, I just felt like something with more of a whole grain flavor and recalled this bread. Looking back at my earlier blog, today's bake was significantly better when tasted after a couple hours' cooling. There was none of what I had described as a "grassy" flavor. This bread was simply delicious with a sweet, nutty, crunchy crust and a  chewy crumb with a nice wheaty, mildly sour flavor. 

I'm going to stick with this one ... except I do want to try the mixed levain version again.



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