The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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PaddyL's picture

I did it!

I made baguettes using a non-commercial yeast starter, just flour and water and those lovely wild yeasties.  Gorgeous crust, lovely soft insides, softer than I thought they'd be actually, but crusty baguettes nonetheless.  My first real sourdough bread.  Feels great!  Oh, and they're whole wheat.

zainaba22's picture

Oat Sourdough Bread

Astrid from Paulchen's Foodblog selected oat as theme for this month's Bread Baking Day.

BreadBakingDay #9 - bread with oat

I got inspired from zorra for this recipe & the method from iban.

For more information about sourdough starter you can read Susan post about Sourdough Starter from Scratch .

60 g (1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon) oat flour.

374 g (2 1/2 cups) whole wheat flour.

670 g (4 1/2 cups) high gluten white flour.

1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

2 teaspoons sugar.

2 teaspoons yeast.

46 g (1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon) milk powder.

2 Tablespoons oil.

90 g (1/3 cup) sourdough starter.

3 cups water.

1) Place all ingredients in the bowl of mixer; beat 10 minutes to make soft dough.

2) Cover dough and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hour, stretch & fold every 30 minutes.

3) Divide dough into 2 pieces

4) Shape each piece into round loaf, cover; let it rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 40-60 minutes.

5) Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500 F.

6) Before baking dust flour over the top of the loaf, slash the bread.

7) Reduce the heat to 400F, bake for 15 minutes with steam, & another 15 minutes without steam.



DakotaRose's picture

Breads made with exotic flours

I went down to our local mill and purchased some exotic flours the other day.  I want to use them as additions to our favorite whole wheat recipe.  I was just wondering if anyone else has worked with these flours and has some good recipes for them.  I started out today by adding some quinoa to the recipe and it came out dense, but boy was it good.

Thank in advance.

koolmom's picture

Bite sized cinnamon rolls


 I have a great recipe for cinnamon rolls.  I roll out the pastry to 24x14.  after rolling I have a 24 inch log, that I cut into 2 inch rolls.

This makes 12 rolls.  However after baking each roll grows to 2 inches high by a radius of 4 inches on average.  I would like to make smaller rolls that could be classifed as bite sized or two-bite sized roll for an event we are hosting.

 Anyone have any ideas how to accomplish this?



swtgran's picture

Weaverhouse, local Prairie Gold

I found a local source for all kinds of grains and such locally to us.  I didn't know if others in our area might be interested.  I just ordered 100 lb. of Prairie Gold Wheat Berries.  The price is considerably more than it was last summer but, I'm thinking it is just going to keep going up, if for no other reason than fuel.  It is in Rittman which I think might be closer to you than Hartville.  You can order by phone and pick it up.  Terry

postino's picture

semolina starter

I tried making altamura bread using semolina sourdough from Leader's book. I came out somewhat dense. Is this a characteristic of durum flour breads?  It didn't seem that my starter was very bubbly. Could I make a semolina starter by refreshing a stiff dough levain with durum flour?  Thanks for any help.


DennyONeal's picture

Activation of Sourdough Starter


For Thom Leonard's sourdough bread recipe, it states that the starter should be activated ~ 8 hours. If I activate it at 10 PM and begin making the bread at 9 AM, the starter is no longer fully active. Can one activate it fully for about 8 hours and then refrigerate it overnight and use it the next morning?


Terjef's picture

Milk, egg and butter



Can someone please explain why you put for example milk, egg or butter in a bread or cake recipe. What is it they do for the outcome? And if possible add other ingredients you know of, that will change a recipe somewhat texturely, et cetera.


Thanks in advance. 

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

rye sourdough - your opinions sought

I've stopped keeping a rye sourdough due to the fact that I don't bake often enough with it.  So if I want a rye sourdough, I just seed one from my white starter and feed it with rye.


I would love your opinions as to feeding schedule, and what you think is appropriate and enough to convert it to a rye sourdough that's ready to go,  with enough sourness to do a proper rye, enough acidity to protect the dough from gummyness, etc...


BTW I'm using rye flour I grind myself from rye berries.


Thanks for your advice!



Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

Just a softie?

According to Wikipedia, about 90% of the people in the USA live in places where the water is hard or very hard. I know I always have.


Now, I've moved to a place where the water is amazingly soft. According to Calvel, soft water prevents dough from having good cohesiveness. And that seems to be the case. My lavash cracker dough at about 55% hydration and a San Francisco Sourdough type dough at about 60% hydration both feel soft to me. How soft? Like 75 to 85% hydration doughs in other areas where I have lived. Even at 60% hydration, and with good dough development, my doughs are too soft to be good free form loaves.


Needless to say, it's driving me crazy. (My wife will tell you that I can walk that far.) Regretably, Calvel didn't mention what to do about very soft water.


Anyway, are there any bakers here who have coped with soft water? And if so, what did you do?