The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


nosabe332's picture

first time ciabatta, autolyse, preferment questions

March 4, 2008 - 10:54pm -- nosabe332

hi all,

baker in oakland, calif. 

i recently renewed my interest in baking, but having lost interest in the more expensive form of pie-making, have decided to jump into bread-making.

 here's a picture of my ciabatta, made from this recipe:

 ciabatta number 1

HogieWan's picture


January 23, 2008 - 9:14am -- HogieWan

I signed up here a couple months ago, but I've just started posting. I saw a couple peoples "hello" threads, so here's mine.

I love cooking - for some reason I like cooking that takes a long time, like bread baking and smoking meats. I also have been brewing beer for a few years, so I feel that I have a grasp on yeast activity as well as grains and their enzymes.

I'm pretty new to the bread stuff and this site has helped a lot. I hope I can help others as much as I get helped (so far I'm behind).


Bricejacob's picture


 I started baking bread about two years ago.  My grandmother had passed away shortly before that, and I realized that my children (all three!) were not ever going to have the simple pleasure of having her white bread as toast.  So I dug out her recipe and decided to start trying to make it.  This began my current journey so I thought it might be a good starting point and introduction for my blog here on The Fresh Loaf.  As a side note, I have *no* idea who Mr. Dugan is.  I have no idea where my grandmother got this recipe and no one in my family can recall either.  So if any of you *have* heard of this, I'd love to hear from you.

 Mr. Dugan's White Bread  

  • 1.25 cups Milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbl butter
  • 0.25 cup honey
  • 5-6 cups unsifted white wheat flour
  • 0.25 cup granulated white sugar
  • 0.5 cup lukewarm water - 125 degrees
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 packages active dry yeast. 


  1.  Place the milk, salt, butter, honey and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until butter (use real butter) melts.  Pour mixture into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
  2. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and turn the dough out onto a floured board or counter top.  Or use an electric mixer with a pastry hook.  Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.  If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.
  3. Turn the mixture into a greased mixing bowl and cover with a towel.  Let stand in a warm place until double in bulk.  (One trick is to put it in an oven with a pan of boiling water on the shelf below.  Want a temperature of about 85 to 90 degrees.)  This takes about 45 minutes to one hour.  Divide the mixture into two parts and flatten each into a rectangle.  Place each rectangle into a 9.25 x 5.25 inch lightly greased Teflon bread pan.  Let stand in a warm place until dough rises to the top of the pan.  About 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Bake 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Now, this isn't the way I make this recipe today.  These are the instructions as my mother passed them to me.  I'm certain my grandmother didn't initially use Teflon bread pans, for example.  Also, when I started doing this, I had no concept of a preferment, so I've adjusted things a bit.  However, starting with this recipe, I've begun (over the past 6 months of so) experimenting with varying different parts of it, usually with pretty tasty results.  I'll share some of those (hopefully with some pictures) in the next couple of blog entries. 


grrranimal's picture

Howdy, from Oxfordshire

August 12, 2007 - 3:23am -- grrranimal

 Only discovered the site a couple of weeks ago, and am just so glad to have found this passionate little community.

 I'm an American/Australian living in a little village on the Thames river, in Oxfordshire, England. 

 My bread ain't great, and it sure ain't pretty, but, damn, it's good!  

 Getting better with y'all's help. 

 Thanks, Floyd, for the site.  If you're ever nearby, let me thank you with a loaf and a homebrew.

jr.wraith's picture


My name is William, and I am 10 years old. I am Bill Wraith's son, and I've created my first blog on The Fresh Loaf. I hope you like my breads.

For my first bread ever, I did a beginner style with instant yeast. It was a baguette of Italian Bread. My dad made up the recipe for me to try.


  • 500 grams of bread flour
  • 365 grams of water
  • 10 grams of bread salt
  • 5 grams of instant yeast
  • 25 grams of powdered milk
  • 15 grams of olive oil

I mixed all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl first using a scale. Then I added the olive oil and water and used a plastic scraper to squeeze all the ingredients around the bowl. I dropped it on the counter and used my palms to squash the left over olive oil clumps into the dough. I kept wetting my hands all the time, so they wouldn't stick.

I put the dough in the bowl and let it rest for 1/2 hour. At 10:15, I started kneading the bread. I used the French Fold from my dad's video. I did about 15 folds and then my dad said to add some flour because it was getting too wet. I then kneaded the dough with 1/2 cup of extra flour for a few minutes. The dough became very smooth and very soft. Then I made it round and put it in a special rising bucket and the dough was up to 1 quart. I let it rise for 1/2 hour.

After the dough rose again, I did the regular folding in my dad's other video. Then, I let the yeast rise again.

I did another regular folding after a half hour and let the yeast rise again.

At 11:50 I shaped the baguette following the instructions in the book "Bread". For the final rise, I used a couche. I put a bunch of flour on it and rubbed it into the cloth. My dad helped me turn the loaf upside down into the couche, and we put it in a giant ziploc bag.

My dad helped me turn over the loaf onto some parchment paper after the final rise. I brushed off the flour with a pastry brush.

At 1:05 PM after the final rise we slashed the X pattern on the bread. I did slashes to the right, and my dad did slashes to the left. We let the oven preheat during the final rise.

The oven was heated to 450 degrees, but we changed it to 425 just before the loaf was put in the oven. We sprayed the bread with water. After about 1/2 hour this is what came out.

My First Bread, Italian

My First Bread, Inside

My First Bread Notes


Rosalie's picture

New Member from California Central Coast

May 20, 2007 - 10:52am -- Rosalie

I just found this site a couple days ago when I was researching fresh-ground flour for my new Nutrimill.  (I've already embarassed myself by accidentally posting my first entry twice - the site seems to be sluggish and I got impatient.)  I live in Morro Bay on the Central Coast of California, alone except for my five cats who do nothing except eat, sleep, excrete, shed, shred, and vie for my lap.  I'm retired except for a part-time job and volunteer work.  I love to knit, especially lace shawls.

kjknits's picture

Hey y'all, from South Carolina

May 16, 2007 - 11:29am -- kjknits

Hey!  My name is Katie and I am new to this site.  Well, I have ended up here many times after googling for one thing or another, but I've finally registered.  I guess that makes me a former lurker.  Anyway, I am a stay-at-home mom, bookkeeper for our family business, consultant to the insurance company I used to work for, knitting blogger, and whatever else needs to be done.  I have two kids, ages 3-1/2 and 2. 


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