The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


jc's picture

Starter = Sourdough?

May 11, 2010 - 8:03pm -- jc

Hi Everyone,

I have some questions for starter for so long. First, I would like to know if starter refers to sourdough. If I see 'starter' on a recipe, should I just use sourdough? I usually make breads with instant yeast or dry active yeast, and I don't really know much about starter. I tasted some breads that are made from starter and found them are special. I live around UC Berkeley. I would like to know where to buy 'starter' and how to keep it. I heard that starter can keep long long time if it's being take care well. How to take care of it? Thanks a lot!


kolobezka's picture

Minimum amount of yeast

April 28, 2010 - 9:08pm -- kolobezka


I would like to ask what is the minimum amount of yeast (commercial) to use in a recipe that would not negatively affect the results.

I have read that yeast can reproduce but in fact it has not enough time to do so during dough fermentation. It just eats (and therefore produces gaz and increase volume, I guess).

jcorlando's picture

Newbie Questions

April 24, 2010 - 10:26pm -- jcorlando


I'm a total newbie. I've made 6 loaves that I had to throw away,
Yet, I learn someithing new each time.
And Now I've got some random questions.

1) What does yeast do???
    Does it just aerate the dough?
    Or does it do more like change the dough's structure.

2) Does dough keep rising? or does it stop.
    E.g.: does the yeast reproduce or does it just eat?

ilan's picture

Wife and daughter went to visit family, leaving me pondering which bread to do today.

I went back to basics; I wanted something tasty but simple. No preferment and other techniques that surely improve the final outcome but take a lot of time.

I made something very similar to the post but added sugar, salt yeast and switched butter with vegetable oil.

The recipe goes like this:

-       3 cups flour

-       1/2 cups of water

-       1 cup milk

-       1/4 cup oil

-       1/4 cup sugar

-       3 teaspoons yeast

-       1 ½ teaspoon salt

-       1/2 egg

Mix flour, water, milk, oil egg, sugar and yeast and let rest for 20 minutes

Add the yeast and knead for 10 minutes.

The dough should be very elastic but not too sticky.

Cover with plastic/wet towel and let the dough rise for ~70 minutes (a lot of sugar, no need to wait too long).

Forming the loaf – We want to make a braided bread here. So, divide the dough to 3 equal parts, form long strands out of each part. The edges should be thinner the center. Connect the 3 strands in the edge and start braiding them together.

Cover and let rest for 45-60 minutes or until it doubles in size.

Preheat the oven to 250c. I have a baking stone on which I place a pot full with boiling water for lots of steam

Before baking, I brushed the bread with a mixture of egg and melted butter for nice color.

Bake in 250c & steam for about 15 minutes then remove the water and reduce the heat to 180c and bake for another 30-40 minutes. To make sure the bread is ready see if the bread produces a hollow sound when knocking on its bottom with your finger.

Beside fish, this bread goes well with almost anything from a full meal to chocolate spread (kids will love it)

Top image is from today, the lower one is a bit older but shows the exterior of the bread more nicely.

This is what my family gets for leaving me home alone :).

Its fun to enter a house when a bread is baking, the smell is beyond comparison so I don't think she objects

Until the next post


emrose's picture

Why has starter risen again (after falling once)?

March 26, 2010 - 9:34pm -- emrose

Good Friday evening, everyone!  I'm the "hybrid" starter lady, in case anyone remembers me from my asking about a starter that was a combo of 6-10 different starters (it's still going strong, still have lots of it, it makes wonderful pancakes, but I haven't gotten up the nerve to try bread with it yet...  not knowing the hydration percentage for certain scares me.  But ohhh does it look VITAL and smells just GRAND!).  Haven't posted since then, but now I've got a question for all you "science-types" out there - about a starter (what else.. sigh).

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

So here we are...baking again. Thank God. Seriously. Grocery store bread really does suck. Eating that crap through my entire pregnancy almost killed me. Since the bouncing baby boy is now sleeping a lot better than before, baking once again commences.

Eric's Fave Rye

This was a riff on Eric's Fave Rye. I forgot the sugar and caraway so it isn't really right. I plan on making it again.

My Daily Bread

This was my final formula for my everyday, I-need-something-tasty-that-I-can-be-lazy-with bread. The write-up on my new and improved blog is on my new and improved blog.

Next up I'm hoping to tackle San Joaquin Sourdough and some bagels. All this week.

Maybe a little too ambitious?

abrogard's picture

Doughs Suddenly Won't Rise - Could Flour Be Bad?

December 30, 2009 - 4:09pm -- abrogard

I've been baking successfully for a few months now, french bread with packaged dried yeast, one loaf every weekday.

Thought I was turning into an expert.

Suddenly my doughs won't rise. No matter how long I leave them.

And they don't suddenly explosively rise and fall down again while I'm not watching. They don't rise. At least as best I can judge.

I've proved my yeast and it is excellent, works no problem.

The ambient temperature around here recently has been usually better than 32C - 89F.

qahtan's picture


November 18, 2009 - 12:50pm -- qahtan

Did I get a shock today, as I am almost out of yeast I phoned around to see who sells the one pound vacuum packs of it.

 A couple of places only sold fresh cake yeast which I did not want at this time, I do use it on the odd occasion.

Any way  I finally found a place that sold it at $7.99 a pound, last time I bought it was $4 some thing. wow. so I continued to phone around and the next place was $9.99. Blow that.

 Then I called National Grocers , yes they had what I wanted , and yes I could buy it from them, $5.99.


Subscribe to RSS - Yeast