The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


FinancingBread's picture

Bread won't rise with alcohol soaked fruit

May 28, 2010 - 6:41am -- FinancingBread

I was feeling creative and wanted to add some bourbon-soaked cherries to my usual brioche dough. I had been soaking the fruit for three days and drained off all the alcohol before adding the cherries to the dough.

I just took the dough out of the refrigerator after 8 hours of bulk fermentation and it hasn't risen at all. 

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).

CaperAsh's picture

This will be a regular series of posts documenting some of my learning experiences. I have recently made the decision to

a) learn how to bake bread

b) build a wood-fired oven

c) try to sell it (if good enough) at a local farmer's market where I live in Cape Breton Island, Canada.


I think many might find this amusing - some might even find it irritating - given my lack of experience!

jschopp1's picture

I learned last night that my wife has allergies.  She can't have brewers yeast or baker's yeast.   I've heard of creating a starter from just mixing and resting flour and water on the countertop for a long time.  Does this work?  Does it have the same properties as packaged yeast?

She's also, seemingly, allergic to cow's milk, but that's a whole different kettle to stir.

thanks in advance,



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