The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.


pumpkinpapa's picture

How big is a batch?

January 9, 2007 - 6:58am -- pumpkinpapa

I have read so many pieces about this bakery or that where they say this oven makes so many batches over a certain period or this bakery holds the record for consecutive batches...

So, having not been trained by a school or a professional baker, how big is a batch? Is it 2, 10, 20 or what? For me 10 loaves in a row at 2 pounds each was a great workout kneading but the time really flies when you are having that much fun!


Happy baking!

Floydm's picture

Makowiec (Poppy Seed Roll)

December 4, 2006 - 10:16pm -- Floydm


Makowiec isn't, strictly speaking, a holiday bread. But it is a classic Polish dessert or tea bread that is commonly served around the holidays. And it is delicious.

Almost all of the moisture in this dough comes from the sour cream, butter, and eggs. There is no primary fermentation: it is one rise and in the oven. This suprised me enough that I verified the recipe in 3 different Polish cookbooks. All of them used this same technique.

JMonkey's picture

This week, one of my colleagues volunteered our team at work to host the monthly Happy Hour. Thanks, bud. Anyway, it was a Thanksgiving theme and since I'm "The Bread Guy," they wanted me to bake something. I thought it would be a good excuse to convert the Bread Baker's Apprentice's Cranberry Walnut Celebration Loaf into whole wheat. So I did. Here's how it turned out:

I think I've pretty much got this whole wheat thing down. Converting from a white bread recipe usually involves:

1) Increasing the recipe by about 20-30 percent in order to get the same volume.

2) Increasing the hydration by 10-15 percentage points to get the same consistency.

3) Either let the dough soak overnight (with a bit of salt to control enzymes) or knead for 20 minutes. If you soak everything and use a biga (highly recommended, as it really helps eliminate the bitter, dry taste that so many people find unappealing), you'll only need to knead until the soaker and biga / starter are well combined.

4) Use buttermilk. Man, buttermilk works wonders with flavor and loft.

The taste was definitely "Holiday" and it's an impressive presentation, though you can tell I was a bit sloppy with the egg wash. My wife's reaction upon tasting it was, "Wow! This is like fruitcake, except good!" And that's pretty much true. Reinhart recommends using either orange or lemon extract -- I went with orange, though I imagine lemon would not elicit the "fruitcake" comparison.

In any case, I'll be making this again come Christmas, for sure.

Loafer's picture

Can I actually get flour from my Corona Mill? What mill next?

October 23, 2006 - 8:26am -- Loafer

I bought a Corona Mill and I got it for really cheap, so even if all I can get out of it is cornmeal and peanut butter, I won't be disappointed. However, I was expecting to get at least passable flour if I ran it through a couple times. I am using hard red wheat from my local health food store, and grinding it several times. I end up with meal that has some flour in it, but is mostly sand sized grains of grain ;) I am wary of tightening the coarseness adjustment too much and damaging the burrs. Any advice?

I'd love to use this one for a while before I commit to a more expensive mill, so I'd appreciate help figuring this out. But my next step will be to get a better mill. I am very tempted to get the Family Living mill because I can get the adapter for my Kitchen Aid and can also get the rollers and flakers later. The next option that I like (probably the best) is the Country Living Grain Mill. I like that because it is beatuiful, well respected, and durable. It doesn't adapt to other things as well, but it would certainly turn out the flour I need! I don't think that I would be able to justify any of the models that are more expensive than the Country Living mill, so it won't help to recommend the $3k models :)

JMonkey's picture

We had guests over for Saturday night dinner. Here's two of the poolish baguettes I baked, along with a very buttery Brioche that we ate for dessert with lemon curd and raspberries.

JMonkey's picture

Hot cross buns with a pre-ferment?

April 11, 2006 - 9:12am -- JMonkey

I'm going to make hot cross buns Thursday night for my colleagues at work Friday morning and was wondering whether a pre-ferment like a poolish or a biga would add anything to the flavor and keeping of the buns?

All the recipes I've seen have been straight doughs, but Panatone, I know, often uses a biga or a sourdough starter, even though it's a sweet bread.


timtune's picture

For the Lunar New Year, aka. Chinese New Year, which was yesterday, i made a batch of steamed buns with sweet black sesame fillings. They were soft and fluffy, except for the age of my flour, which gave a yellowish tinge to it, i think. :)

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Happy Year of the Dog!

Floydm's picture


December 7, 2005 - 8:36pm -- Floydm

I baked gingerbread for the first time last night. Yum.


I was amazed at how good the house smelled when I came home from work today. It really smells festive, like the holidays are here, even 24 hours after baking it.

I looked at a few different recipes before settling on something closest to the recipe from the Joy of Cooking.

Floydm's picture

Cranberry Coffeecake

December 1, 2005 - 6:04pm -- Floydm

I saw this recipe for a cranberry coffee cake in The Bread Feed and had to try it.
cranberry coffee cake
It is very good, more like a light pound cake than a traditional coffee cake. We all enjoyed it very greatly.

I'm going to keep a summary of the recipe here so that I have it in case the original source move or go away, but I definitely want to give credit: I found this recipe via Slashfood, which linked to it on Epicurious, which appears to have gotten it from Gourmet (magazine?). Follow those links for more in depth info on this recipe.


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