The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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RoundhayBaker's picture

Vanilla, Cardamon, and Almond Praline Danenuts

Meet the new Danenut...Same as the old cronut. Just without the registered trade mark. :P

Following on from Bakingfanatic's superb Strawberry and lemon sherbert sourdough Cronuts, here's my more modest offering. No need for a recipe, Bakingfanatic explains it perfectly well in his blog. 

Actually, I don't think mine are really cronuts because I used Danish pastry dough (but with four turns instead of the usual three in the tourage) because I love the cardamon in it. I went OTT Pierre Hermé-style with the vanilla: extra vanilla in the crème pâtissière, vanilla sugar coating, and vanilla icing. 

Now I've eaten one, I can see what the fuss is all about. You expect something as sturdy as a doughnut, instead they're light, crispy, flaky delights. And I can also see why Dominique Ansel produces so many different flavour combinations. Just about anything would work with these textures. I'll definitely be experimenting further. 


aly-hassabelnaby's picture

Exploring Sweden and Experimenting with Rye Flour

In April of 2015, my wife and I completed a long-awaited move to Luleå in the north of Sweden where she joined the university for her PhD degree. Having lived in Egypt all our lives before that, the move wasn't easy but we're slowly finding our way around town and starting to make sense of the language and the culture.  One of the things that really stand out for me about food in Sweden is how much of a bread culture they are, which of course means a lot of variety. Being a cold weather country, rye, an ingredient that just doesn't exist in Egypt, is available in abundance around here. So I decided to pick up a bag of rye flour and try my hand at it.  Unfortunately though, I had to give my sourdough starter that I've kept back in Cairo for more than a year to friends. I split it in half and gave to two different friends; one of whom actually used it and sent me pictures which was endearing. She also gave some to her aunt who was fascinated by the idea of a live culture that just keeps going.  Anyway, I used a small amount of instant yeast to get a preferment going and let it sit for about 14 hours at room temperature then proceeded with the rest of the dough. Here's what I did:  Pre-ferment:426g water + 200g Wheat flour + 200g rye flour + 1/4 tsp yeast  The next day I added 200g of wheat flour, 13g of salt and another 1/4 tsp of yeast. I did three stretch and folds at 30 minute intervals and then let it bulk ferment for an hour. After the hour, I shaped it into a rough round shape (need more practice here) and let it bench-proof for about 35 minutes.  Meanwhile, I pre-heated the oven all the way to 260C with a cast iron skillet in there. I flopped the dough from a towel onto the hot skillet, scored it, added steam and let it cook for about 20 minutes and for 30 more minutes without steam. The end result was a pretty good looking and smelling loaf which tasted very nice. I thought the rye added some depth of flavor and a bit of earthiness that barley flour just didn't do when I used it back in Egypt.  Anyway, here it is and I'll definitely keep trying new things with rye flour in the future. Greetings from Sweden and Trevlig Midsommar!     Here's a look at the crumb:    

Bread1965's picture

Cold retarding timing help..

Hi Everyone.. last week I made the FWSY recipe for 50% whole wheat with biga... i learned that my room temp was too high and the overnight bulk fermentation went too far and over proofed (?) my dough..

Based on everyone's feedback I'm going to try and cold retard the dough overnight. Here's my question. I have the option of putting the dough in my fridge (probably about 35 - 40 degrees) or in a cold cellar that sits at a pretty constant 55 degrees..

Which environment would be better (of course the dough would be covered) and for how long. The recipe calls for 12 - 14 hours of bulk fermentation..

I'm tempted to go with 55 degrees for the same 12 hours or so and see how it goes.. do you think the flavour would suffer much if that's too cold versus a room at 65 - 70?

In advance, thank you for the advice!!!

Emerogork's picture

Dry Yeast VS Starter?

I have a recipe that calls for dry yeast but I want to use my new Pineapple starter instead.  How much starter replaces 1 3/4 tsp dry yeast?


Wild-Yeast's picture

Starbucks closing La Boulange shops

La Boulange, the small bakery chain founded in San Francisco by Pascal Rigo and later sold in 2012 to Starbucks for $100 Million will be closing the bakery shops by the end of September. Starbucks will continue to offer La Boulange products for sale through their outlets.

Rigo is part of the ex-pat French community in San Francisco and according the "The New Yorker Magazine" the only real entrepreneur in the bunch. He's been a pivotal figure in the bread scene in San Francisco and will continue to be as it appears he has plans for some of the soon to be closed shops - he will also be parting company with Starbucks corporate.

The quality of the goods sold through the Starbucks chain has suffered and received many complaints from customers of La Boulange. The quality decline is seen as coming from the production shift from the shops to a large scale production facility - Starbucks failed to maintain the quality - adding insult to injury they simultaneously downsized the product. This loss of reputation in San Francisco was (and still is) a perennial problem for Stabucks PR department. They've been able to keep it contained to San Francisco for the most part. 

I find this story to be intriguing - that a small French style bakery does not or cannot fit well within the confines of large corporate mono-culture is both refreshing and fascinating. That "artisan" and "corporate" are antonyms will come as no surprise to readers of TFL.

Starbucks will continue to offer the La Boulange products through their outlets - nationwide - they are the fastest growth items on the menu with food sales up 16 percent over the year before, and the new breakfast sandwiches sparked a 35 percent year-over-year growth in breakfast items. Songs of joy to the corporate mind...,


farmboy236's picture

Effects of hydration percentage on fermentation

  Could anyone educate me on the effects of dough hydration percentage on fermentation?  Does hydration percentage effect taste or just extensibility and  structure ?  What are the different effects of fermentation temps on different hydration doughs?  How will time and temperature effect different hydration percentages?

Big_Mike's picture


Hey everyone!

loong time reader, newer poster here:D I am in a bit of a quandry and hopefully you can help.  I have this killer recipe for Philly Soft Preztels that I would like to try and sell out front of stadium for ball games and the like. 

My problem is that no matter what I do they stick to the parchment paper that I line the pan with, spray or no spray. I have to peel scraps of paper off of the bottoms.

I am at a loss, any help would be appreciated because right now they are not time effecient to make with the paper problem.

p.s. I have also tried no paper and they stick to the pan regardless too :(

mcs's picture

I'm back from The Trip :)

It's a double post of my blog entry, but I thought it would be appropriate for 'advanced' and 'off-topic' also ;)

Hey everyone!  I'm back from my big trip and I've got some stuff to share with you, mostly coming in the form of links to stuff I posted along the way on my phone. Lastly is a short video I made of the baking session I had in Moscow in the middle of May. 

Here are a bunch of photos I took, both personal and professional along the way.

These are some photos from when I was working at the Black Dog Bar & Grill outside Prague.

And this is my bakery FB page that provides a little bit of narrative on some of the photos (if you look hard enough)  :)



Master Classes at Sub-Zero & Wolf Russia

FrugalBaker's picture

Pizza Stone, Baking Stone or Dutch Oven?

I have been thinking a lot of late of getting one of those in order to achieve the crust for my sourdough bread that I longed for. Not sure which would yield the best result though. My bet at this point would be a Dutch oven but I do not have a big budget unfortunately....

Also, I read a blog on TFL sometime last month and he was using a big stainless steel bowl to replicate what a Dutch oven could do. Appreciate some feedback on this. 


Many thanks in advance,


pmccool's picture

You just never know what might happen

I received a note recently from Amy Goldman, who had attended one of my sourdough classes.  She and her partner, Sean Galloway, are in the process of planning a business combining a brewery and bakery in the KC area.  Right now they plan to call it The Brewkery.  Amy is already baking, using starter that I provided to each of the students.  It's a treat to think that my starter might be the base for a bakery's sourdough breads someday.