The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


cdnDough's picture

Bread for the Holidays

December 22, 2008 - 8:51am -- cdnDough

I'm keen to see what everyone else is baking for the holidays this year.

My wife figures my bread is now good enough that we can have it on Christmas.  Her family is Swiss and usually buys quite an assortment of breads for breakfast on Christmas morning.  Attached is a photo of day one's baking ... 2 pain au levan, 2 pecan & cherry pain au levain, and a batch of Mark's Portuguse Sweet Rolls.  Day two (tomorrow) is a whole wheat sourdough, rye and challah.

davidjm's picture

Since most break-baking professionals tend to emulate French bakers, I thought it might be instructive to post this picture and present some questions I am unable to answer at this time. 

We recently spend three weeks in France (in Northern Brittany and Paris), which really raised the bar of my bread baking aspirations.  Take the following sour-dough rye loaf I purchased in the "inter-marche" (normal grocery store) in Brittany, France.  Notice the shape of the loaf.  It is triangular.  In France, each bakery has characteristic shapes, sizes, and slashing patterns.  This was the only time I ever saw a shape like this.  The crumb was light and hole-y, but still had the "cake-like" texture characteristic of good rye loaves.  There are a few things I would like to know:

1. How did the baker retain the shape of this loaf while still maintaining hydration?

2. There were no slashes, but the crust was also not broken.  How?  Is that a feature of hydration and extensibility?

3. In France, to be considered rye, they have to have a certain percentage of rye flour to white.  This bread had a crumb that I cannot replicate with the 50:50 rye:white mix I use in my siegle au levain.  How did they make a nice dark rye loaf and keep an airy crumb?


Siegle au Levain




dragon49's picture

Making Rye and Buckwheat Breads with less All Purpose Flour

December 7, 2008 - 6:50pm -- dragon49

I've been making some good Rye and Buckwheat Breads with my Bread Machine.  I need to use at least 60% All Purpose Flour, othewise the Bread does not rise and form well.  I want to make the breads with less percentages of All Purpose Flour.  Is it possible to use Vital Wheat Gluten to accomplish what I want, or will Vital Wheat Gluten only help form and rise Wheat grains?


If it is possible, pls reply with some formulas.


If not, what else can I use to make good breads with less percentages of all Purpose Flour.




ryeaskrye's picture

Reinhart's Bavarian Pumpernickel Question

December 1, 2008 - 11:12pm -- ryeaskrye

I recently bought Reinhart's WGB and have been reading and re-reading the Bavarian Pumpernickel recipe and my girlfriend keeps asking why I'm drooling. Silly me, I'm going to attempt something that might be beyond my abilities.

If anyone has made this, or if you can answer anyway, I have a question:

I found a slightly dented Pullman Loaf pan on discount. It is a 13"x4"x4" and says it is for a 1.5lb loaf. Reinhart's recipe is for 1482 grams or roughly 3.23 lbs., yet he talks about a single 4"x8.5" loaf pan.

karladiane's picture

Volkornbrot or Volkorn-brick?

October 29, 2008 - 4:12pm -- karladiane

A question on Volkornbrot for anyone who can provide some insight.

I've taken the "rye-bread" challenge, and have started attempting some rye loaves. I made "Vokornbrot" from Daniel Leader's "Local Breads", and although it is absolutely delicious, I'm not quite sure if I did it "right". I don't have any good frame of reference (it's been an awfully long time since I've visited Germany - too many years to admit).


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