The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

So my sourdough starter isn't ready yet. I've decided I'm going to baby it a little longer with three stirrings a day and lots of love. That being the case, I still needed to bake. This came about because I had oatmeal for lunch today. Strange lunch, I know, but sometimes you just have those cravings that must be heeded. I envisioned this as a soft-crusted bread with a dense but moist crumb and a decently caramelized crust. I wanted a little maple flavor, as well as the flavor of the brown sugar. I almost got it, but I think that this is still a work in progress. Not using instant oatmeal may be a start. It also needs a tad more salt than the teaspoon I put in. The only thing I'm lacking to make it completely from scratch is the maple syrup, which I'll get on friday, and I'll bake it again this weekend from old fashioned oats, brown sugar, and maple syrup. For anyone who still wants the recipe, it is below. I think I'm starting to get the scoring thing. These didn't blow out on the bottom. They were also better proofed than my last loaf. I let them sit for about an hour before baking. The real test of any bread making, for me anyway, is the appearance of the crumb. This is, by far, my best for a more dense loaf. I'm really loving what I'm learning here. I'm having a lot of fun baking (sometimes more than my boyfriend, our daughter, and I can eat, but it's proving to be very educational. Recipe: Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Bread - Take One Prepare the oatmeal: 1 packet instant maple & brown sugar oatmeal 1/2 cup water Mix and heat for 1 minute. It will be almost done, but not quite. Allow to cool to just warm. Assemble the rest of your ingredients: 3 1/3 cups flour 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast 2 tablespoons of butter 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar (very lightly) 1 egg, lightly beaten 2/3 cup milk (lukewarm) 1 1/2 tsp salt Disolve the yeast in the milk. In your large bowl you use for mixing the final dough, mix together the oatmeal, sugar, and egg. Once incorporated, mix in the milk. Once all this is well mixed, add 2 cups of flour and the salt and mix until you get a thick paste. Add the rest of the flour in 1/3 cup increments until it's almost all in. If your cups are the same as my cups, it should take all but the littlest bit of the flour. If not, you want the dough to feel very sticky and barely hand-kneadable. Once mixed together so that there's barely any flour left in the bowl, rest for 10 minutes. After the resting period, turn the dough out onto your kneading surface and "knead", as well as you can, for a few minutes. 5 or so. Bulk ferment should be about 60-80 minutes. Mine was on the longer side because of the temperature of my kitchen. I stretched and folded the dough three times during this time. Got very good gluten development. Preshape and allow to sit for 5 or so minutes. Shape loaves, then proof for about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. Score and bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, then turn down to 350 and bake until a thermometer reads 200 degrees or so.

Tulip1's picture

Hi everyone,

 What a wonderful blog.

There was an entry which said, I think, that kosher cake would not have butter.  I think this is inaccurate;  I have several kosher recipes which include butter--also butter substitutes, if the cake is to be eaten at a non-dairy meal (meat).


Mini Oven's picture

Stuck with salted Butter

August 7, 2008 - 4:57pm -- Mini Oven

The only butter I can find is salted.  Now what?  I've got a scales and now to figure.  I've seen some recipes that one "stick" of butter is 1/2 cup and that sometimes 1/4 teaspoon salt can be eliminated if salted butter is used.  I'm getting nervous...I would really appreciate some help. 


Q:  What is 1/2 cup of Butter in grams?  (Directly off the package, please)

Q:  And how many grams of salt are mentioned on the package for the test amount?  (usually 100g)


Bettina Berg's picture

Help substituting yoghurt in Dan Lepard's leaven recipe

February 23, 2008 - 5:15am -- Bettina Berg

Hi. I've just purchased Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf and am dying to try his leaven recipe. However he uses yoghurt and we can't have dairy in my house (alas), so I was wondering if anyone could recommend a substitution.

Also, a lot of his recipes include milk or buttermilk as well as butter. Any suggestions how to handle this?



mikeofaustin's picture

2 loaves, same formula, Vegetable oil Vs. Butter. Very 'oily' taste w/ V oil

December 7, 2007 - 9:39am -- mikeofaustin

I made two simple loaves (flour, salt, yeast, both W/ 8% suger), but I experiemented with vegetable oil versus butter.  One loaf with 8% oil, and the other with 8% unsalted Butter.  2 hour rise, then shape, then 1 hour proof.  Oven at 450, baked till centers were 200 degrees. 

1st one had VERY distinctive vegetable oil taste and smell compared to the one with butter.  Side by side, you would taste both, and want to through the one with Vegetable oil away to the birds. 


psmeers's picture

Buttery Egg Bread recipe found (just in time for T-giving)

November 20, 2007 - 10:47pm -- psmeers


 Thanks for your help on this topic.  I searched all over the web, and nobody even on this impressive site had the recipe I was looking for.  Fortunately, a family member found an old copy of this spectacular, no-knead, crusty bread.  Always a hit w. my people on special occasions.  Anyone who would like to substitute more specific measurements (like 'stick of butter'), please do!

 Monkey Bread (so-called by the friend of my mother who gave her the recipe circa '68)

psmeers's picture


 This is my first post, and I really hope somebody can help me out.  My mom's recipe for holiday buttery egg bread is lost.  Consists of flour, eggs, yeast (little sugar for the bugs to eat), butter and milk.  Makes a batter-like dough, which rises in the fridge, punched down and left overnight.  Next day, dropped by spoonfuls, spongy into loaf pans coated with melted butter.  Forms a crunchy crust.  I need proportions and timings, etc.

 Sound familiar to anybody?  Thanks in advance.

psmeers's picture

Help: buttery egg bread recipe lost, just in time for Thanksgiving

November 15, 2007 - 12:49pm -- psmeers


 This is my first post, and hope you can help.  My mother's buttery egg bread recipe has disappeared, and I need it for next week.  It consists of flour, eggs, milk, yeast, and salt.  Makes a batter like dough, which rises in the fridge, with one punch down, then left overnight.  It's dropped, soft and spongy, into loaf pans coated with melted butter, resulting in a crunchy crust.  So, I know the outline, just need to recoup the details and proportions.

 Sound familiar?  The troops are hungry!


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