The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


harrygermany's picture

Newbie from Germany

October 24, 2007 - 11:31am -- harrygermany

Hi everyone,

I'm a newbie from Germany. New to this forum and not very well doing with English.

With baking bread I am not new.

My favorite breads are wholemeal rye-wheat breads or rye breads made with sourdough. Sometimes just a little yeast added. Also rye-wheat breads with whole seeds and grains.
Real rustic breads.

And also wheat breads with a poolish made of a tiny bit of yeast.

I am not perfect with baking bread, and so I hope to learn a lot here.


colinwhipple's picture

Confused about Poolish

September 5, 2007 - 8:21am -- colinwhipple

I found the folllowing guidelines for Poolish on the Internet:


The Poolish

This method is composed of two phases. The first phase is the preparation of a semi-liquid dough comprised of yeast and an equal quantity of flour and water, which is prepared some hours prior to the preparation of the final dough. The second phase is the preparation of the final dough prior to baking.

beenjamming's picture

So for the first time this week, I got together some people would had expressed interest in starting up a bread baking club and we crowded into my tiny kitchen and baked a dozen baguettes! I had originally intended to have a side by side comparison of baguettes with/without poolish, but just getting introduced to the bread making process was plenty for round one. We used Leader's parisian daily bread recipe for half ver batim, and substituted about 250g of poolish in for the other half of the breads. Everyone took note that the dough with a preferement was far more extenisble and sweeter tasting than then dough without, but that was all we took time to discuss. I did my best to let everyone there make bread with minimal guidance, and stuck mostly to explaining what was happening chemically during fermentation and baking. Overall, it was a really big success. No one had ever made baguettes before except for myself, and I hardly touched the dough, and the bread turned out great. I think a few people's interest were really piqued and a rich baking community with hopefully develop out of this. These are some pictures during the day:

A cross section o f our very first baguette:

we didn't wait till everything was done baking before we started feasting:

about half the gang:

I've since loaned out most of my bread books to interested folks and have been asked to write an article about challah for Cornell Hillel's magazine (I'm not jewish, but I read everything Glezer's had to say about challah). We're kind of rogue baking club at this point, no real ties to the university and no nice kitchen to bake in, but that may change in coming weeks. Steve Kaplan, a cornell prof, just published a book "Good Bread is Back" and had a raucous spot on conan o'brien (who was kind of an ass, in my opinion). I'll hopefully be in touch with him this week and see if he'd be the faculty advisor of our group and then we could get some of that over abundant cornell money and maybe even some kitchen space.

Meanwhile, I've been doing some baking myself-and not blogging about it. Last week, I made a levain couronne to take to a pasta feast down the block. It was loosely based on the Tornato from artisan baking.

It was pretty giant (the peel is 14" wide):

and also pretty awesome inside:

I have not been so proud of a loaf since the first time I made bread. Incredibly complex flavor, super moist crumb and a deeply caramelized crust. I served it with herb-oil and some asiago cheese; it was well received! Last week I also made 2 loaves of blue cheese and walnut levain based on pearl's walnut levain, which were tasty too.


I've learned to bake around my homeworks pretty well, and hopefully won't have to slow down too much as the semester gets going. I'd like to still make my own weekly bread all year. That said the problem sets and programming assignments have started to roll in, so we'll see if I have any time to bake outside of Better Bread Better World. Even still, that would be okay with me- getting my friends hooked was very exciting!


rustica's picture

Poolish question

July 6, 2007 - 7:39am -- rustica


I made a poolish following the Peter Reinhart BBA book last night in the hopes of making a ciabatta this weekend. However, before the poolish was quite done rising, I fell asleep, and it fermented for about 11 hours. :((  Is my poolish toast now? or can I still  use it in a ciabatta?

Any ideas?


marklwitt's picture

Cinnamon Rolls

June 12, 2007 - 6:12pm -- marklwitt

I wanted to share this recipe with you.  It is the result of months of research and is the subject of my latest DVD release Cinnamon Rolls at Home.  The recipe and procedure are described in summary below but the full recipe and details of how the recipe came about can be obtained from    This recipe is unus


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