The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


day2day's picture

Introduction, General, Misc

May 15, 2011 - 1:57pm -- day2day

Hi Everyone,

My name is Lynn and I wanted to introduce myself.  I live in rural Maine, and I'm 56 years old.  I've been married for 37 years this year and have two grown chidren and three grandchildren.

I love herbs and wild flowers and have been known to use flowers to decorate my cakes.  I bake bread at least once a week and have a few favorites.  Rustic Italian, French, White, and I have made English Muffins, Pretzels, Cinnamon Rolls and Bagels.  Would like to make Wheat Bread but have not found a recipe that I like. Too sweet and heavy.

nojiri's picture

Will a commercial steam pan work for general baking?

December 12, 2010 - 6:27pm -- nojiri


I'm a total newb trying to buy a stainless steel baking pan for my wife.  She needs a very specicfic size (10x12) that will fit in our convection oven, and I'm wondering if a commercial steam pan like the one in the link below will work OK for general baking.  It's 24 guage SS and is 10 x 12 x 2.5.  Will this work OK, or do you have any other suggestions?  Thanks!


Cheers! - nojiri

jonesy's picture

freeze down, or leave dough in fridge

August 15, 2008 - 6:19am -- jonesy

Hi. I am hand making bread daily,  and was expecting visitors today.One is ill so they have postponed the visit.  What do you suggest. I now have the dough mixed for my bread. Do I keep the dough in the fridge for a couple of days, or bake and freeze it down. I am reluctanct to make fresh bread, then freeze it. Regards, Gordon, Paignto, Devon, UK

anawim_farm's picture



This is my first attempt at sourdough rye although I have been experimenting with sourdough since Sept and have baked some rye bread using yeast.

 I started the rye chef on Monday using 3 oz. of rye, 4 oz. of water and a pinch of starter that was dried and frozen in Oct. 06.  The rye was organic that was grown in my state, Maine.  The grain was stone ground and felt quite silky and its aroma was really pungent.  It was kind of expensive even for grain that’s organic but Maine isn’t really a grain producing kind of state.


What activity!  The first day the chef produced a lot of bubbles and increased in volume.  I was surprised and really didn’t expect that much activity. On Tuesday and Wed I continued the feedings of the same ratio on Monday and the chef doubled in volume on both days.  The chef had a very strong beery smell that filled the room when I opened the container. Thursday I put the chef in the refrigerator to avoid having to feed it again and brought it back out early Friday morning giving it enough time to warm up for a final feeding at noon. The final length of time from the last feeding until I built the starter is 8 hours to ensure enough activity for a good starter.  At 9p Friday I mixed the starter planning on 8 to 10 hours of fermentation and final dough making at 5am. 


For the starter I mixed 9 oz. of chef, 5 oz. of rye and 4 oz. of water.  After mixing well I sealed the container and put it on the top shelf of the pantry to maintain the temp at around 74 degrees

Sourdough Rye with Caraway Seeds 

Rye sourdough starter                                                                       18 ounces

Water                                                                                                   24 fluid ounces

Rye flour, medium ground                                                                   9 ounces

Whole wheat flour                                                                                  9 ounces

Fine sea salt                                                                                         ¾ ounce

Caraway seeds                                                                                    ¼ ounce

20% bran wheat flour                                                                        20 -25 ounces    

Mixing the dough:


Add the starter to the water and stir until bubbly.  Add rye and mix completely, then fold in whole wheat flour and caraway seeds. Once mixed add enough  20% bran wheat flour until difficult to mix.  Turn out to well floured board and let rest for 10 min. then kneed.

Add salt while kneading in several small amounts. Kneed for approximately 15 to 17 minutes or when a little dough pulled from the mass springs back quickly. Shape the dough into a tightly shaped ball and return to the cleaned and oiled mixing bowl, cover bowl with towel or plastic wrap and let ferment for 2 ½ to 3 hours.


Divide the dough and shape:


Once dough has almost doubled in volume, deflate dough and transfer dough to floured board. Divide the dough and shape loaves to your own preference.  Place dough in a couche or benneton and proof for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until loaves have almost doubled in size.


Bake the loaves:


One hour before baking Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with hearth stones as close to center as possible.  Gently move loaves or rounds to floured board or peel and slash tops.  Transfer loaves to oven and mist interior repeating mist again in three minutes.  Bake loaves at 450 degrees for 20 minutes reduce heat to 375 and bake for another 20 minutes.

anawim_farm's picture

This past Sunday I made enough dough to make four loaves of  bread using Daniel Leader recipe for San Francisco Sour dough.


This first photo is one of the two loaves I baked tonight, the dough having been in the refrigerator for two days.  The crumb was open and the sourness buildup wasn’t significant.  Lousy photo but the coloration was browned well, I  lightly sprayed the loaf with water then slashed, there was some tearing on these loaves from oven spring as well.


On the Sunday batch I used a glaze of one whole egg with a little water and a dash of salt. The coloration was nice and the crust was chewy instead of crisp which seemed to bring out more flavor. The glaze gave a nice texture and something I would like to experiment more with, maybe using just egg yoke. Even though the wash moistened the crust and I slashed the loaf.  It expanded out the slashes and tore along the side.


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