The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Abelbreadgallery's picture

Dark whole grain bread, almost black.

Dark bread, almost black. This is a kind of a Pumpernickled bread, adapted to the mediterranean palate. In southern Europe we are not used to eat those german 100% black ryed breads. We find it too heavy, so this is a light version with greater role of wheat flour:


- 200 gr bread flour

- 150 gr whole wheat flour

- 100 gr whole rye flour

- 60 gr molasses

- 260 ml water

- 1 tsp cider vinegar

- 1 tsp instant coffee *

- 2 tsp cocoa powder

- 9 gr salt

- 6 gr instant yeast or 18 gr fresh yeast

- 1 tsp fennel seeds

- 3 tsp caraway seeds **

* You can replace instant coffee and water adding 260 ml of light coffee (100 ml of coffee and 160 ml of water). It doesn’t matter if coffee is decaf.

** You can replace caraway seeds by cumin seeds. It’s not the same but it’s similar.

Mix coffee with water, molasses and vinegar.

Mix flours with cocoa powder. Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients.

Let it rest 20 minuts. Knead. Add salt. Knead. Add seeds. Knead. Add yeast.

Let it rest between 1 hour and 1hour and half. Preshape a batard. Let it rest 10 minutes. Shape a batard and put it into a tin spreaded with oil. Let it rest about 1 hour or more. Preheat the oven at 240C (464F). Put the tin into the oven. Create some steam. Reduce heat to 190C (374F) and bake the bread 35 minutes.

More info:

chris319's picture

S.F. Sourdough Yeast and Lactobacillus

I put this out for anyone who might be interested. It describes how to make L. sanfranciscensis and C. humilis, the lactobacillus and yeast in S.F. sourdough. It comes from US patent #3734743 by Kline and Sugihara. I have updated the names of the microorganisms from the patent to reflect the current names.

Is thre anyone with a knowledge of chemistry who could say how feasible this would be to do given a properly-equipped laboratory? Note that these both utilize baker's yeast.


Preparation of pure cultures of the sour dough bacteria L. sanfranciscensis

 The bacteria in question grows well on a broth containing the following ingredients:

Sour dough bacteria (SDB) broth


Maltose __________________________________ __ 2

Commercial yeast extract ____________________ __ 0.3

Fresh yeast extractives (FYE)* __________ __ 0.5 to 1.5

'Sorbitan polyoxyethylene monooleate (Tween 80) .. 0.03

Casein hydrolysate (Trypticase) ____________ __ 0.06

Water ____________________________ __ To make 100


*Prepared by autoclaving a 20% suspension of commercial compressed baker's yeast in distilled water for 30 minutes at 15 p.s.i., allowing the suspension to settle overnight at 34—35° R, decanting and further clarifying the supernatant by centrifugation. The extract prepared in this manner contained 1.5% solids and if not to be used within a few days, was frozen or freeze-dried immediately. The FYE preparations are used in a proportion to furnish 0.5 to 1.5% of the dry FYE solids.

 Adust to pH 5.6 with 20% lactic acid or acetic acid or1 to 6 N HCl.

 The broth is sterilized by autoclaving it, cooled, and inoculated with about 1% of a broth culture of the bacteria, then incubated at about 80° F. for 1 or 2 days.

Since growth of the bacteria is stimulated by CO2, it ispreferably to carry out the culture in an atmosphere containing some CO2. This may be done by ?ushing air out of the top of the culture vessel with CO2 and then stoppering the vessel. Alternatively, the vessel can be placed within a receptacle containing about 25 to 95 volume percent of CO5, (the remainder, air). Alternatively, one may sparge the culture with such gas mixture. During the culture the system is preferably agitated or shaken slowly to get good contact between the growing cells and the nutrients. The bacterial cells are harvested by centrifuging the broth culture, preferably using a refrigerated centrifuge.

The centrifuge cake is then washed with chilled 1% aqueous salt solution to remove nutrients, metabolic products, etc. The washed cells can then be used as the bacterial inoculum for liquid starter make-up.


If the cells are not needed a short time after preparation, they may be preserved as follows:

The washed cells (100‘ parts) are suspended in 200 parts of a stabilizing carrier (a mixture of glycerol and sterile SDB broth) and the suspension is ?ash frozen, using liquid N2 or Dry Ice-acetone slush. The culture is then held in a frozen state (about -20° F. or below),

whereby it retains its viability for at least 2 months. When the product is to be used, it is thawed and used directly.

 Further details on preparation of cultures of L. sanfranciscensis are disclosed in our copending application referred to above. Methods whereby this species may be isolated from source materials such as sour dough sponges are also disclosed in said application.

Cultures of several strains of Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis useful for the purpose of the invention have been deposited in the Stock Culture Collection of the US. Department of Agriculture, Northern Regional Research Laboratory, Peoria, Ill.61604, from which organization samples of these strains may be obtained.



Preparation of pure culture of the sour dough yeast Candida Humilis.

The yeast in question grows well on many media, including those used for growing commercial baker’s yeast. We have routinely cultured the organism on the following broth:


Glucose ____________________________________ _. 2

Yeast extract _______________________________ __ 0.5

Casein hydrolysate (Trypticase) _________________ __ 1

Water ________________________________ To make 100


The broth is sterilized by autoclaving it, cooled, and inoculated with about 1% of a broth culture of the yeast, then incubated at about 86° F. for 1 or 2 days under highly aerobic conditions. The yeast cells are harvested by centrifugation or filtration, then washed with chilled 1% aqueous salt solution to remove nutrients, metabolic products, etc. The washed cells can be used directly or stored in the refrigerator for future use. For longer storage, the yeast can be dried — this is preferably done by extruding it through a die to form noodle-like filaments which are dried to a moisture content of about 8% in a current of air at about 100-140°F. To prevent loss of viability, the temperature of the air during the last part of the drying cycle is kept in the lower portion of the stated range, or, alternatively, the humidity of the air stream is increased while keeping the temperature high.

Cultures of several strains of candida humilis useful for the purpose of the invention have been deposited in the Stock Culture Collection of the US. Department of Agriculture, Northern Regional Research Laboratory, Peoria, 111. 61604, from which organization samples of the strains may be obtained. The strains are designated as Nos. NRRL Y-7244, Y-7245, Y-7246, Y-7247, and Y

7248. As noted above, in the sporulating form the yeast may be termed Saccharomyces exiguus.

clazar123's picture

It's gooseberry season in Wisconsin!

I have a prickly gooseberry bush that was laying flat it was so heavy with berries. Well today it is lightened of its load and I have only a few scratches. Success! So what to do with these wonderful gems?


I have done jam but I want to stretch out a bit. I made some gooseberry muffins this morning and they were quite delicious. Any more ideas?

davidg618's picture

I suggest a contest

Let's have a contest:


Come up with a question that hasn't already been answered on TFL ad nauseum, and a long list of answers (agreements and disagreements) can be found using the "Search" function provided--right-hand side of The Fresh Loaf banner on the home page.

Prize: everyone who enters will learn a new skill or hone an old skill: how to use the "Search" function on TFL.

David G

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

Fun with Jason's Ciabatta

It's been a year or more since I've made Jason's Quick Ciabatta recipe, so I made a variation first and followed the next day with his standard recipe.

For the variation, I mixed Jason's standard 95% hydration dough until it started to climb the mixer paddle.  At that time I added enough flour to make a 75% hydrated dough and retarded it overnight in the fridge. The next day, I shaped, proofed and baked the loaves.

Later that day, I made the standard recipe which is always fun for me to make and will be nice for dinner tomorrow with the kids.


CJRoman's picture

Beer Starter?

I go out of my way to bake everything with I look to attempt my first sourdough....I'm wondering: Can I make my starter with beer instead of water? Will there be any flavor benefit? this not desirable given the alcohol content in the starter?

CJRoman's picture

Baked Baking Soda

After my big disappointment with lye...I want to try baked baking soda.

My question is...with the lye, so long as it is sealed you can use it indefinitely (even in its solution form)...will a baked baking soda solution keep for re-use as well??

Also, sometimes I go wild and make dozens and dozens of pretzels at one time...and I'm always curious to know who long a baking soda solution is "good" for when making multiple batches? It seems to get cloudy and icky as I go...but that may not mean anything...



varda's picture

Carlisle Farmer's Market

Today, I attended my first farmer's market as a vendor.   Yesterday I baked around three times more bread at one time than I had ever done before.   Miraculously it all came out fine with no kitchen disasters.  This morning I finished up the baking and drove a couple towns over to Carlisle.   I had never been to the Carlisle market before.   I had two reasons for picking it.   One, I figured, given that Carlisle is pretty sparsely populated, that the market might be small enough for me to be able to manage.   The second is that unlike Lexington, they were willing to let me start in the middle of the season.   Sure enough, it was a fairly small and low key market.   The neighboring booth was a lemonade stand staffed by a seven year old and his parents.

So I relaxed and got ready to sell bread armored with my hastily purchased $6 sign from Staples.

There were plenty of baked goods, but only a couple other loaves about, and nothing like mine.   The market officially opened at 8 am, but there were only a trickle of customers and few of those interested in bread.    I figured I was going to be bringing a lot of loaves home, or engaging in some pretty furious barter for corn and squash at the end of the market.   

And yet, slowly but surely over the course of the morning my loaves walked away one by one, and in the opposite order that I expected.  

First to disappear were the flaxseed ryes.

Then went the Cherry Almond Whole Wheats.

The baguettes took longer to go, perhaps because they were a bit pale due to my needing the oven for the Challah rolls.   Finally a woman who would have preferred a Cherry Almond decided to take the last baguette home.  

When it was all over, I had only four challah rolls left out of my starting 18 loaves and 19 rolls.

The crowd seemed to divide into two parts (in my mind of course.)   The people who glanced at the bread, and then walked on as if they hadn't seen anything.    The second group would be almost past, when suddenly their eyes would lock on the bread, and they would circle slowly back, and only after a moment or two remembering to look up and say hello.   Of course, I liked those people better.  

One woman bought a roll, took a bite, and informed me it was dry.   I noticed that as she walked away she was still eating it.    Ten minutes later, she came back and said that after a bite or two she realized how good it was.   She just had to reorient herself from puffy.   

I experienced the limits of my kitchen all in one night.    I reached capacity on my scale (5 K) my Assistent Mixer which started chucking up bits of rye dough all over the place as they got too close to the top of the bowl.   My counter space and oven, and so forth.   But I survived, and sold my bread, and I'm ready to do it all over again next week.  Now I just have to figure out what to make.    

Elagins's picture

Bagels: is it really "the water"?

The real story on what passes for bagels

phaz's picture

The BlackBerry Starter

 just looking for knowledge from those who have experience with starters created from fruit.  already have a well established starter,but when poking around the garden the other day I came upon some BlackBerry bushes in 1 corner of the property. I've heard of starters created using say wild cherries and raisins, so when I noticed the bluish grey coating on the berries, I picked a few and tossed in an old jelly jar with a splash of water, semi heaping teaspoon of white flour, and a semi heaping teaspoon of whole grain rye and mixed. 2nd day it had doubled in height. 3rd morning it had fallen, so I removed about half and feed as above. this morning, 4th day, it had tripled in height, almost filling the jar. lots of bubbles big and small, and no strange odors, actually smells nice, like strong blackberries. the plan is to keep the feeding up for a few more days, removing half, till whatever is left of the berries is about gone, then try a loaf. advice and suggestions always appreciated! thanx in advance!