The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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maojn's picture

Cotton Cake, so light and pretty and delicious!

For detail steps and pictures, please see 


For 6 inch baking pan

3 large egg yolks+1 whole egg

warm milk 50g

egg white 3x

sugar 70g

cake/pastry flour 60g

butter 40g


preheat oven to 170C, line the pan with parchment paper at bottom 


- heat butter in water bath to 80C﹐ add flour quickly and mix quickly with egg whisk

- add warm milk in 4-5 times, whisk and make sure it's mixed well each time before add more.

- mix yolks and whole egg, add into batter

- cover and save for later

- beat egg white and sugar until stiff peak, see this video for detail timing to add sugar:

Bosch universal Plus Mixer 攪拌機打發 配件 蛋白打發 Attachment How to Whisk Egg White Correctly

- add 1/3 egg white into yolk batter, mix with egg whisk until no egg white lumps.

- add the rest of egg white and mix with egg whisk until no lumps.

- use scraper to clean the side of the bowl and mix well.

- pour batter into pan from 10 inch height, this will break big bubbles, 

- put the cake pan into a water tray which is bigger than the cake pan, pour the hottest water from the faucet to depth of about 1 inch (about 70-80C)

- use broil (only top heat) setting and sure the surface is colored gold brown, then use bake (bottom heat) 150C for 50min.



website numbers total


Sylviambt's picture

Exploring stiff sourdough starters

I've been working with liquid sourdough starters for the last several years and have just started investigating stiff starters, something that you can store for longer term. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

carblicious's picture

Haussler INO 2004 Stone/Brick Oven

Excellent condition Haussler INO 2004 Stone/Brick Oven for bread, pizza, or roasts. Acquired in 2012, and has about 24 bakes total life time. Unfortunately, that's just not enough bakes to keep the oven.

The unit is 1 meter x 1 meter x 1 meter, weights 407 lbs, requires 220v outlet as well as an external vent outside the house.

Asking $2950, located in Santa Clara, CA.



dabrownman's picture

Lucy’s 5 Grain Sprouted Practice Sourdough Slash Bags with Scald

When you make baguettes once or twice a year, they can only be considered a way to practice shaping and slashing or as Lucy calls them – Practice Slash Bags.   This version also has 20%  5 whole sprouted grains in the mix consisting of: wheat, emmer, spelt, rye and Kamut in keeping with Lucy’s love of all things sprouted and multigrain when it comes to bread.


We also included a 140 F, 30 g baked / scald of sprouted MG flour with a bit of red and white malts as has been Lucy’s recent addiction.  The idea was to increase the flavor, sweetness and the moisture, texture and softness of the crumb.  The water was topped up at the end of the 2 hour bake to make the scald 60 g total before it was added to the autolyse.


We usually like to use the lowest protein AP flour available, in the 10 -11% range in keeping with the French traditional flour used but we ran across some AP unbleached flour in Sprouts bins that is supposedly 12% protein and decided to use this flour and see how it worked for baguettes instead.


We also like to make baguettes because, with a little wine, cheese and charcuterie, we can transplant ourselves back to any outdoor cafe in Paris for a fine afternoon by the pool - if not actually along the Seine.   As an added bonus, we also get to use our favorite double baggie bamboo form for the long, cold proof in the fridge.


The first thing on the list to get done was the sprouting of the whole grains which was started early Tuesday morning by soaking the grains in water for 4 hours before putting them in the sprouter for another 24 hours.  Wednesday morning, we dried the sprouts in the dehydrator at 105 F and ground them in the Nutrimill.


Once the whole grains were turned into flour, we used them to feed 6 g of our 6 week retarded rye starter to make the levain over (3) 4 hours stages.  After the total 12 hour levain build we retarded the levain for 24 hours in the fridge.  Thursday morning we started the baked / scald which took 2 hours in the mini oven


The only whole grain flour in the dough were the sprouted ones in the baked/ scald which were now completely hydrated at 100%.   Thursday, in the late afternoon,  the autolyse of dough flour, water and baked scald was started and completed in 1 hour.   We sprinkled the Pink Himalayan sea salt on top of the autolyse so we wouldn't forget it.


After dinner, once the levain warmed up on the heating pad during the autolyse, we added the levain to the mix.  We did 8 minutes of slap and folds and then 2 more sets at 12 slaps and folds each before 3 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points were done.  All of the gluten development was done on 20 minute intervals and finished in 2 ¼ hours


Once finished the dough was rested before being pre-shaped, rested, final shaped, loaded into the cloth and rice floured lined bamboo mold, bagged in a used trsah can liner and immediately placed into the fridge for a 21 hour retard.   


Once removed from the fridge the next day, the dough was allowed to warm up for an hour before BO Betsy was fired up for her 550 F preheating.   45 minutes later the Mega Steam went in and, 15 minutes later, the dough was un-molded onto parchment on a peel, slashed and loaded into the bottom stone as the oven heat was reduced to 480 F.


After 10 minutes of steam, the Mega Steam was removed and the temperature reduced to 425 F with the convection fan on this time.  10 minutes later the baguettes looked and tested 208 F and considered done.  They were left on the stone, oven off with the door ajar to further crisp the skin.


They sprang and bloomed poorly under steam but blistered and browned up nicely once the steam came out.   The ears never formed for some reason.... and that reason was because the dough was over proofed .  21 hours was about 9 hours too long I’m guessing.


Since this is the first time we have used sprouted whole grain flour and a baked scald in baguettes, we can’t wait for these to cool so we can taste them.  Expectations of a more healthy, better tasting and aromatic baguette are running  pretty  high…..The crust was thin and crisp and,as time went on, a bit chewy.  The crumb wasn't as open as we would like but 20% whole sprouted grains with a 21 hour cold retard was too much and the the  bread was over proofed.  Still, it is the best tasting SD baguette I have ever had - nothing even close!  I will give up the holes for a fine tasting baguette like this one every time.  Next time we up the sprouted grain to 25% and cut the cold proof to 12 - 14  hours and get it in the oven before the dough over proofs.  Hopefully, the taste will hang around and the holes get a bit larger.  i haven't even put butter on this bread yet - and might not :-)

When puff paste is used for the top of an apple pie the pretty decorated edge disappears in the puff   


SD Levain Build

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



6 Week Retarded Rye Sour Starter






Whole Sprouted Multi Grain
























Levain Totals






Whole Sprouted Multi Grain












Levain Hydration






Levain % of Total Flour












Dough Flour






12 % Protein Winco AP






Total Dough Flour






























Dough Hydration






Total Flour w/ Starter


















Hydration with Starter






Total Weight






% Whole Sprouted Grain












Scald / Bake is 24g whole multigrain flour and 3g each




of red and white malts and  30 g of water - 60 g total.










Multigrain sprouted flour is equal amounts of kamut, spelt, rye, wheat and emmer







Hydration with baked scald is 72%






Lucy says not to forget the salad 

108 breads's picture
108 breads

Intimate look at the autolyse

I know I will get some flack for my take on the autolyse, but this forum thrives on opinionated baking comments. The intimate look at the autolyse basically reaches the conclusion that you can't go wrong with including an autolyse phase when making bread, not that I always do. 

doddsa's picture

overnight proofing sourdough

I proofed a sourdough loaf overnight and baked it this morning, its fantastic! I will do this everytime now

Monica's picture

Yeast substitute for levan starter

not sure WHERE to post this question, here goes third attempt. Can I use yeast in a recipe that calls for levan starter? I can't keep a starter due to travel, etc. (in the past I've had a starter for years.) I want to use some favorite levan recipes, but use yeast. Any comments?  Monica

Maine18's picture

2 Weeks in Review - Easy Focaccia, Field Blend #2, Toasted Sesame, and Pizza

The past few weeks I’ve had a chance for some good weekend baking, and below are the latest results.

I started off on a school night trying Kenji’s take on focaccia, not so much for the recipe composition as the easy technique (simple overnight rise, baked in a cast iron pan).  The results were surprisingly good – really nice crust & crumb, 1 to 2 inches thick, easy to slice in half for sandwiches.  The crumb flavor was a bit bland/simple – not unexpected with an instant yeast build, a bit like Jim Lahey’s no knead bread – so I might experiment a bit with a longer retard process in the fridge and/or introducing some levain, but for a “night before,” easy bread to go with a dinner or sandwiches, this was a very good method.

Next I made a batch of Field Blend #2, from FWSY, as I’m trying to get more into rye recipes, and this was an easy step.  Loved the flavor and crumb of this bread – I made a double batch and gave it to friends who similarly raved.  I’m starting to understand the complexity (and stickiness) rye adds, which is fun.


I then built on the Field Blend #2 recipe by adding toasted sesame seeds, inspired a fellow TFL user (I think) and his great, if dormant blog.  The results were stellar – one of my favorite loafs in a while – as I really loved the flavor and dimension added by the toasted sesame seeds.  It takes everything is different direction than my normal levain breads – nutty and savory – I think it would be amazing toasted with cheese. I’m going to keep on this one, and will try adding toasted sesame into other breads to see how it goes (bonus: it’s much easier to make and incorporate sesame seeds than some of the poridges I’ve been trying).  

One further note, I baked these loafs free form on my baking steel.  It produces really great oven spring (and I was heating it up for pizza later, so it was efficient).  One thing I have to watch, though, is over cooking the bottom of the loaves – they got a bit darker than I might normally like, which I suppose is because of how efficient steel conducts heat, but was curious if others had a similar experience? Could be as easy as inserting something in between halfway through the bake, perhaps…

Wrapped up the week with some pizzas on said baking steel, and [for fun, another batch of habanero hot sauce (if only because I put it on almost everything, including the pizza…)

Cheers from the Pac Northwest

TigerX's picture

%100 Hydration Bread by Whole Wheat Flour...



This Bread  was made up of %100 Water Percentage (Hydration)...



- 350 gr APF

- 150 gr Whole WF

- 15 gr Potato Flour

- 15 gr Wheat Germ

- 530 gr Water  (%100 Bakery percentage)

-150 gr Starter (%100 Hydration)

- 12 gr Salt


Overall hydration is : %100...



Alchemist42's picture

Doughy center

Hello all.  I am very much hoping you good folks can assist me in sussing out my recent loaf troubles.

I've searched the site for gummy and doughy issues and clearly it has not helped.  So it appears time for some person to person interaction.

Here is what is going on.  I've am no stranger to baking.  Been doing it 25+years.  The last couple years have been very successful with high hydration doughs ala Tartine.  I successfully, albeit not perfectly, made it through all of Chad's recipes.  No real issue except the basic learning curve of high hydration shaping.

I have what I believe is a healthy 100% whole wheat culture started over 18 months  ago.  I say believe as it's the one rock I have not overturned trying to diagnose my current issue.  In the time since I started it I've kept it fed and it seems fine based on activity and aroma.  I've baked little in the last year with it.  Since I started again about 2 months ago, I have one recurring issue regardless of recipe.  The inside of my loaves are gummy/doughy.  Regardless of flour or recipe.

As everyone seems to say, my belief is I've changed nothing.  But of course something has changed.  Details.  Let's go with yesterday's loaf.

50% whole wheat loaf.  Numbers in baker's percent.  Total flour was 500g

50 Camas Valley whole wheat flour (local mill) hard winter wheat

50 AP flour

75 water

1.3 salt

20 levain (1T starter to 50g WW/50gAP 100g water, overnight proof)

2 hour autolyse of flour and water (minus 25g)

Mix in remaining water and salt.  Fold, stretch, turn every half hour for 2 hours.  Bulk rest 3 hours.  Pulled away nicely from bowl and had plenty of tension post fold.  Pre-shape and bench rest 20 minutes.  Final shaping and rise for 1 hour in floured bowl, seam side up.

Oven pre-heat to 500 F.  Cast iron skillet and lid heated 10 minutes.  Load loaded and slashed.

20 minutes with lid at 500 F

40 minutes without lid at 450F

No internal temp taken...but for goodness sakes, after an hour at that temp...

The interior:


I am happy enough with the look but the texture is doughy still.  You can see the shine and gloss on some of the surfaces.

A run down of things I've checked.  I'm sure I've missed some.

Oven temperature accurate

Bake time 40-60 minutes

Tried with previously successful flours and recipes.

Starter floats well.

Tried retarded over night bulk rises

Tried overnight autolyse

Any and all questions and suggestions welcome.  Let me know what details I can fill in.

 I'm tossing around ideas about enzyme issues, trying a lower temperature and starting a new culture. 

Thanks in advance.